The official winners of the Shop NWT contest have been announced.

The competition, which ran from June 14 to July 18, was based around shoppers who signed up for the Aurora Coupons app. With the app, they could go to contest registered businesses and scan their QR code. After which, they could begin earning points for a chance to be entered in to win one of six $1,000 gift cards,

For some, like Beaufort Delta winner Laura Hicks, it was a challenge since there were just a handful of registered businesses in her area, though it did not stop her from meeting the $500 entry requirement.

“It was pretty exciting to learn that I won the prize,” said Hicks. “Inuvik did not have many businesses signed up so it was hard to reach the $500 minimum for an entry. I was lucky I had made a trip to Yellowknife, so was able to enter.”

Hicks isn’t sure what she’ll do with her prize gift card but she has a few ideas.

“I’m thinking it may be a piece of furniture for the house,” said Hicks.

On top of the six gift cards, another winner had the chance at a stay-cation at the Explorer Hotel’s Aurora signature suite from Friday to Saturday.

Front office manager Josh Gagnon praised the suites as one of a kind.

For Gagnon, the biggest hope for the winner is to have a memorable experience.

More than 300 people were entered into the draw, a feat president of NWT Chamber of Commerce Yanik D’Aigle considers very good as technology continues to grow in the North.

“This was new,” said D’Aigle. “It’s a very great first step. There was a lot of participation. Even some door-knocking, encouraging businesses and clients to participate and to get out of their normal comfort zone as we learn and adapt to this COVID environment and whatever this new norm is. But also, a good gauge of success and why we’re doing this again in the Spring of 2022.”

D’Aigle also felt the contest was a great opportunity to showcase NWT businesses and the technology involved.

“It has it’s challenges,” said D’Aigle. “It’s unique. I mean, we do have geographic challenges, we’re bigger than Texas and California combined, and [with] 33 communities. So how do you reach out? How do you have a contest that’s eligible for all 33 communities to participate? Well that’s leveraging technology. This contest, thanks in conjunction with Aurora Coupons, really provides the opportunity for everybody to participate on the same playing field, regardless of where they were at in the NWT. So it’s a great opportunity, it’s a great opportunity to showcase businesses across the North, and also showcase what we can do with technology and empower those businesses and customers to really shop local.”

Rami Kassem, CEO at Aurora Coupons, was thrilled with the results and how being digital was utilized so well.

“Being digital is a process,” said Kassem. “It goes through automation, so we use text messaging, e-mails. We had a phone number that was dedicated for the shop local campaign as well. Customers could reach us very fast and we could respond to them very fast. So everything was clear and a good experience.”

The winners were as followed for the specific regions and for the Explorer Hotel:

Amrik Kamwal – North Slave

Jordan Bassett – South Slave

Connie McNab – Dehcho

Laura Hicks – Beaufort Delta

Jillian Zdebiak – NWT

Paschalina Nadli – NWT

Margaret Gorman – Explorer Hotel

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