Last year's Canstruction of a scene from the Wizard Of Oz at Mayfair Mall.

Canstruction fundraiser stacks to new heights

Canstruction is returning to Victoria and organizers are confident this year's competition will inspire and amaze.

Canstruction is returning to Victoria and the organizers of the unique fundraising project, the Dahlia Society, are confident this year’s competition will once again inspire and amaze while simultaneously raising record donations for the Mustard Seed.

Canstruction is a charity concept responsible for raising more than 40 million pounds of food since its inception in 1992. Originating in New York City, the concept was the brainchild of the Society of Design Administration (SDA) and involved professionals in the design and construction industries who joined with dedicated volunteers to create innovative and colossal structures using canned food as the primary building material (tape and cardboard serve as the nails and cement for the structures).

The project now operates in 155 cities worldwide, and this will be its third year in Victoria.

Last year’s theme was Movie Magic which featured Canstructions such as R2D2 from Star Wars, and scenes from the Wizard of Oz and the Lego Movie. This year’s theme is blast from the past.

The structures are not only imaginative, they are massive, explained Christopher Mavrikos, the executive director of the Dahlia Society. The final creations can be two-and-a-half metres high and three metres square at the base, constructed completely of canned goods.

This year, nine teams, including Sysco, Fairway Markets (two teams), Seafirst Insurance, Linott Architecture, St. Michaels University School, Megson Fitzpatrick Insurance, Low Hammond Rowe Architects, and Knappet Projects, will compete for prizes for the best structures. Read Jones Christopherson, Lowe Hammond Rowe, Finlayson Bonet Architecture, and Stellar Architects will provide additional technical support to teams.

“That’s one of the rules for the competition,” said Mavrikos.  “Each team has to have a design professional working with them…to ensure the structural integrity of what can become very large and intricate creations.” He added, to date, none of those creations have ever collapsed.

The competition runs until May 16 at Mayfair Mall where the public is invited to marvel at the creative structures. Through the donation of either $2 or two non-perishable food items, members of the public can also vote for their favourite creations in the people’s choice category.

To date, Canstruction Victoria has raised nearly 60,000 cans of food, which combined with cash donations, have a value of more than $163,000, all donated to the Mustard Seed.