CANstruction teams to test their metal
EVENT TO BENEFIT LOCAL FOOD BANKS
In an age of freezer packs and fresh vegetables year-round, the humble “tin can” may seem a relic from the heyday of general stores.
But canned goods still have a place in the family’s pantry — and in community food banks across the nation. In Lethbridge, those cans will also raise cash and awareness of the vital service those agencies provide.
Now in its seventh year, “CANstruction” will see local teams attempt to build the most imaginative structures indoors — entirely of canned food.
“This year we’ll have four high school teams taking part,” reports Bill Smienk, speaking for the organizers. The students will be competing against teams from Lethbridge College and other construction-related groups.
After drawing up their plans, teams from various local industries will converge on Centre Village Mall on March 1 to build their canned goods creations. But first, Smienk says, the plans will be scrutinized by event officials for such essentials as structural stability.
Teams are also limited to maximum numbers on various-sized cans, he adds.
“We’ll help them with the expertise,” says Smienk, chair of the college’s engineering technology program.
The creations are “kind of a mixture of art and engineering,” he says.
Teams have just one day — March 1 — to build their structure, as shoppers and spectators look on. From then until March 29, visitors will be invited to vote for the structure of their choice.
They’ll also be asked to bring cans or non-perishable food items in return for the ballot. Cash will also be welcomed.
At month’s end, the “people’s choice” and judges’ top-placed teams will receive awards at the project wind-up. Winners may also move up to regional or national level competitions if they meet all the requirements, Smienk says.
All the donated food will be shared by the Interfaith Food Bank, the Lethbridge Food Bank and the college student association’s own food bank, he points out.
The Lethbridge competition has been held at Centre Village since its start, he says. But some people may have missed it more recently while the shopping mall was under renovation.
Smienk expects more visitors will come by this year, to see how the event has grown locally and across North America.
“Some of the entries are simply amazing.”
Colton Starker and the team from the Lethbridge College School of Engineering Technology create a giant birthday cake can structure as part of last year’s CANstruction event at Centre Village Mall. @IMartensHerald