Cans to creations: first Agape Center sculpture contest underway

Members of the Agape Center team prepare their work area Friday, April 15, 2016 during the Canstruction competition at the Benson Center in Cornwall, Ont. The event is a money and food raiser for the local food bank. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – In less than 12 hours, thousands of food cans in a Benson Center hallway will transform into a half dozen sculptures.

It’s part of the first Canstruction competition in Cornwall – a fundraiser for the Agape Center.

The six teams participating are: Bourgon Construction, Kinsmen, Professional Engineers Ontario, Rotary Interact Club, Agape Center and WSP/Architecture49.

“It’s in line in with the kinds of things we do. We always need canned goods. The benefit of this is we get any of the cans that are used after the two weeks they’re on display. It just helps us replenish our cupboards and help serve the people we’re working with,” Agape Center board chairman Jim Healey tells Cornwall Newswatch.

Healey says the level of interest in this competition is “really good” given that this is the first time for the event.

Executive Director Alyssa Blais says over 12,000 cans will be coming to the food bank, not including the money from sponsorship of the event.

Blais explains that nobody comes in an builds a giant sculpture on a whim.

“What they (the teams) have to give us first is a 3D rendering of the drawing – a design. It has to be drawn by an architect or engineer because it has to be structurally sound and then they calculate all the cans,” Blais says.

Using a catalog from the food bank, she says the food bank was able to act as a broker for the teams to purchase their cans (all except one team) and then ship them to the Benson Center for the competition.

Members of the Interact clubs at St. Lawrence high school and CCVS speak with Agape Center Executive Director Alyssa Blais, right, during the Canstruction competition Friday, April 15, 2016. The two high school clubs are building a large Spiderman figure out of cans of salmon. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Members of the Interact clubs at St. Lawrence high school and CCVS speak with Agape Center Executive Director Alyssa Blais, right, during the Canstruction competition Friday, April 15, 2016. The two high school clubs are building a large Spiderman figure out of cans of salmon. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

And it’s not just size of the cans, but also colour, as one team could be heard discussing what coloured cans they were using for their sculpture as the contest started at 4 p.m. Friday.

The results of the competition will be revealed May 5 and there will be winners in four categories: structural ingenuity, best meal, best use of labels and jurors favourite.

Before that, the sculptures will be on display April 16-30, 2016 where people can “vote with their dollars” on their favourites – another form of Agape Center fundraising.

While the public won’t know the final results until May 5, the winners will be submitted before to the international competition as the cutoff for that is April 30.

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