Yes, we CANstruct

- December 12, 2008

The engineering team created a life size replica of the Chinese character for "people." (Bruce Bottomley Photo)

Showcasing incredible creativity and ingenuity, the fifth annual CANstruction Nova Scotia, a fundraiser that sees thousands of canned food items made into awe-inspiring scultptures, has again wowed audiences and helped feed the hungry.

The annual community event that helps battle hunger in a creative and entertaining display of talent took place from October 23 to 25.

A team of civil engineering students from Dalhousie’s Faculty of Engineering participated in their fifth event, while a team from the School of Architecture made their second appearance. In the main lobby of the Halifax Shopping Centre, each team designed a structure completely out of canned goods donated by sponsors. The engineering team created a life size replica of the Chinese symbol for “People” and the architecture team a literal representation of the saying “Step up to the plate.”

“The design is a very small scale of an actual building that will be built in China in the near future,” says fifth year civil engineering student Brian Paqutte. “It was a simple design, but a strong structure with a strong message,” says first year architecture student Jennifer Boyle, who is in her fifth year of study, of her team’s “Step up to the plate” design. 

The event is held at numerous venues throughout the province every year and is put on by Feed Nova Scotia, a not-for-profit organization that collects food for the hungry. Dalhousie students, along with businesses, government and volunteers put their skills and innovative minds to work to help build support for those in poverty.

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction/Civil Engineering team consisted of Jason Rae, Christian MacIntosh, Shannon O'Connell, Renee Mackay-Lyons, Brian Paquette, Yi Liu, Andrew Murphy. (Bruce Bottomley Photo)

Each month, more than 40,000 Nova Scotians, one third of which are children, rely on food banks for their food. This year $32,000 worth of cans were purchased by sponsors, a total of 36,500 cans. Both Dalhousie teams think more people, especially students should think about getting involved.

“It would be great to see more disciplines take part,” says Mr. Paquette, 22. “The competition is for a good cause and it’s a great extra-curricular activity.”

“It’s important to have the school involved and recognized for community involvement,” says Ms. Boyle, 22. “The more groups and teams that participate, the more people we can help.”

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction/Civil Engineering team consisted of Andrew Murphy, Christian Macintosh, Brian Paquette, Renee Mackay-Lyons, Shannon O’Connell and Prof. Yi Liu.

The School of Architecture team, which took home the “Best Meal” award was made up of Jennifer Boyle, Adam Pelissero, Bryn Marler, Victoria Weutzell and Prof. Steven Mannell.


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