Crazy About Cans

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Canstruction_VancouverintroWe’ve been crazy about recycling lately, and our zeal for cans in particular has led us to a most fascinating encounter: the arrival of Canstruction Vancouver for its tenth annual exhibition of can-structure extravagance. Engineers, architects, school groups, and designers have gathered in teams to build immense models entirely out of cans and compete for best in show. Since its grand opening on March 26th, the incredible collection of can creations has emblazoned the halls and atria of four buildings on Georgia Street: the Four Seasons Hotel, the HSBC Pendulum Gallery, the FortisBC building, and the Flour building. As a result, your simple stroll along Downtown Vancouver’s thoroughfare is now a spectacle of impressive design, construction, and ingenuity embodied by cans!


Visiting the cans is free, and ideal for families, schools, and other groups. All the hosts ask is for a donation to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, which is also the final destination for all of the cans in the exhibit, once the event is over. Canstructure Vancouver has raised an incredible 1, 056, 043 cans for the Food Bank since its first competition in 2002 – an achievement and philanthropic contribution of which founder George Kallas can be proud. Kallas, chairman of MET Fine Printers, brought the idea of Canstructure home to Vancouver from a fortuitous trip to New York City. It was there that he met the late Cheri Melillo, member of the Society of Design Administration and mastermind behind the Canstructure venture. She had envisioned and launched the very first Canstruction event there in NYC in 1992 as a way of uniting the design and construction communities to support of the underprivileged, and Kallas believed the same could happen in Vancouver. He saw the opportunity as the perfect way to fulfil his humanitarian ambitions.

Coverage of last year’s exhibition, by BCIT Magazine.

It turns out that an enormous number of businesses, engineers, designers, and community groups across the city feel the same way! Last year’s competition hosted 20 teams of innovative contributors, each of which produced a unique structure using upwards of 3000 cans. Among the favourites were Team AMEC’s Tutankhamen’s Mask, which contained 5 680 cans and won Best Use of Labels; New Westminster Secondary School’s Caped CAN Crusader to the Rescue rendition of Batman, using 4200 cans; FortisBC’s Minions Unite for the Food Bank of 8000 cans, including the Despicable Me’scrypticyellow minions; and Team KODAK/Edith Cavel Elementary’s Imagine, a stunning recreation of John Lennon’s album cover.

Canstruction_VancouvermiddlePhoto courtesy of

Until April 4th, this years’ marvels will be open to viewers between 9:30am and 5pm. Drop by if you’re in the neighbourhood, on a lunchbreak, or touring the city to see the can-structures in person, and add to the amazing number of donations for the Food Bank. It’s kreations like these that inspire our future innovations and designs – most often things we could never have imagined. As a fabulous reflection of the exponentially expansive design industry, this event is one we at Kihada have our eyes on – and one you certainly won’t want to miss!

A fast-forward lapse of this years’ Chandler Associates Team can-struction.

Canstruction_Vancouverbottomby Alison.

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