Kelowna Canstruction takes food pyramid literally

Students from St. Joseph
Students from St. Joseph's Elementary School begin building their Canstruction project in Orchard Park Shopping Centre Monday. Nine different groups will be building their creations from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. The strucutres will remain on display until Feb. 11, then the food will be donated to the Kelowna Food Bank and Kelowna Salvation Army.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

Usually it is considered rude to play with your food, but Kelowna Canstruction is exempt from that rule.

Nine teams began assembling unique creations in Orchard Park Shopping Centre Monday using only cans and other non-perishable food items.

Canstruction began as a New York City community service project in 1992. Since then it has spread to 167 cities across North America.

The Rotary Club of Kelowna began leading the event locally in 2011 and it has grown ever since.

"We help the Kelowna Community Food Bank and the Salvation Army Food Bank," said Mike Wilding, co-chair of the event.

According to Wilding, the donations and the creativity seem to increase every year.

In 2011, a large hand holding a heart caught the judges' eyes and last year a frying pan cooking eggs and bacon took top prize.

Save-on-Foods, the title sponsor of the event, is hoping to raise the bar this year—their plan is to build a 26-foot bridge.

Another team, Enactus, aims to construct a tree in the sky court of Orchard Park Shopping Centre.

Twenty-five thousand cans—7,000 more than last year—are available for teams to build with, and all of the food will be split between the Kelowna Community Food Bank and the Salvation Army Food Bank at the conclusion of the event.

"That's a huge amount of food that gets put on the shelves to make sure it goes to people in need," said Lenetta Parry, associate executive director of the Kelowna Community Food Bank.

"It's events like this that really contribute to making sure we can help people."

Teams participating in this year's Kelowna Canstruction include Save-on-Foods, the Rotary Club of Kelowna, Dorothea Walker Elementary School, St. Joseph's Elementary School, Maple Reinders, Orchard Park Shopping Centre, Urban Fare, Enactus and Roteract.

The structures will be judged Saturday at 3 p.m. by Bob Mills, Heather Adams, Gordon Savage, Maxine DeHart and Peter Schultz.

Prizes will be given in a variety of categories, ranging from people's choice to healthiest structure.

The public is encouraged to view the creations, which will be on display until Feb. 11, and vote for their favourite structure in person or online at

Admission is free, but non-perishable food and cash donations are appreciated.


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