Canstruction 2018

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Canstruction® is a unique, international event engaging designers, architects and engineers to use their talents to help those struggling with food insecurity. The event raises funds, food and awareness for local food banks. Competing organizations strengthen their team while gaining profile in the community. In Waterloo Region, Canstruction® has raised food and funds to provide more than 600,000 meals since 2008.

**NEW FOR 2018 – This year we have scheduled 2 (two) weeks for teams to choose from, based on a first come first serve basis and will be hosting 6 teams throughout each week.

The event will run: April 15 – 22 and May 6 – 13 at Conestoga Mall

Have questions about 2018 Canstruction® Waterloo Region? Please contact us at 519-743-5576 or e-mail us.

Interested in participating in 2019 Canstruction® Waterloo Region? Contact our Community Events Coordinator.

Thank you Canstruction® Waterloo Region Sponsors

Contact our Partnerships Manager for more information on becoming a sponsor.

How do I register for Canstruction?

Canstruction Registration

    Both events will occur at Conestoga Mall in Waterloo (550 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2L 5W6)
  • Please tell us the best number to reach you at during business hours (cell, business etc.)

What are the Rules for Canstruction?

The following Rules govern your participation in the 2018 Canstruction® International Competition.
Download a PDF of the Rules HERE.


  • Your team – Canstruction International requires a submission of 5 builder names as your “Team Members”. An unlimited number of additional members, known as “Associate Team Members”, may take part in design, fundraising, and construction (most teams have 5 – 7 members).

The Canstruction Structure:

  • Structure Size – 10’ wide x 10’ deep x 6’ high. See page 2 “Build Day – (1) Saturday, April 15th and (2) Saturday, May 6th, 2018, for more information on your build area.
  • Design Plan – Teams must submit sketches/renderings to including:
     Official team name & title of structure
     Description of structure & dimensions of the structure
     Total number of cans & type to be used in structure— Based on feedback from previous years and participants, teams will be provided with contacts at various grocery stores to purchase their own food. Detailed instructions will be provided.
     Names of the five official Team Members & additional Associate Team Members
     Names of Team Supporters—Should your team choose to solicit funds from other vendors, clients, or corporations, the names of these organizations can be added to your team sign as “Team Supporters”.
     Your company logo

Coming Soon… Please visit the team info page by clicking HERE to fill in the forms required to capture the information above.

  • Props are strongly discouraged—the jurors prefer pure food structures, and you should try to solve design problems with food items.
  • Most Needed Food Items as determined by The Food Bank include: Canned Meat & Fish, Peanut Butter, Canned Fruit, Stew & Chili, Beans in Sauce, Dry Beans, Canned Pasta, Canned Tomatoes/Pasta Sauce, Rice, and Macaroni & Cheese. Please make every effort to use nutritious foods in your design.
  • Cans must be full, unopened, and unaltered, with labels intact and legible. Labels MAY NOT be covered, stripped off, or altered in any way. However, a single layer of clear packing tape may be used over top of cans. Please ensure containers made of plastic or materials other than aluminum can support the weight of cans stacked on top. Cans MAY NOT be painted or glued. Leaving the cans in their original carton packaging simplifies post-event transport and food distribution.
  • The Food Bank of Waterloo Region preferred grocery stores – Please choose food products from these select stores only:
    • Please stay tuned for updates which will include specific dates and times of contact.
  • Structures must be completely self-supporting – Structural supports must not be load bearing. Sheets of foam core, Masonite, MDF, Plexiglas, cardboard, cardboard tube or plywood, max ¼” thick, can be used as a leveling device between rows of cans. Teams may use temporary adhesives such as Velcro, clear and/or double-sided tape, high-tension rubber bands, nylon string, wire, and zip ties. Permanent adhesives or glue MAY NOT be used. Please note that painting is prohibited in the mall
  • Electricity can be used for your build—requests must be sent to
  • Pre Building – you may practice and pre-build your structure in The Food Bank warehouse at a pre-determined time. Details will be provided.

Build Day – Saturday, April 14th, 2018 and Saturday, May 5, 2018 – commencing when Conestoga Mall closes for the evening

  • Build Base – The floor surface at Conestoga Mall is tile. Consider using a plywood or Masonite base for levelling purposes.
  • Build Time – A total of 10 hours is allowed. You must maintain a maximum of 5 people in the 10’ x 10’ build space at any one time. Team members outside of the 10’ x 10’ build area are permitted to un-box and organize cans, prepare materials, or perform other related tasks. Team members inside and outside of the build area may swap roles as often as necessary.
  • Supplies – Teams must bring all of the supplies and equipment necessary to build the structure (tape, scissors, foam core, cardboard, ladders, etc.). Overestimate and be prepared!
  • Complications – If it looks like your structure is unsound, sagging, slipping, or proving otherwise unstable at any time during the event, your team captain will be contacted and must be prepared to return and fix it immediately. If rebuilding is impossible, your team must be prepared to box up cans and remove your structure.
  • Minor Repairs including re-taping or repositioning of a limited number of cans or food items back into the structure will be completed by the organizing committee or authorized Food Bank staff. Team captains will not be notified if minor repairs are conducted.


  • Judges’ decisions are final. Your structure and company representation WILL NOT be identified during the judging. Signage will be displayed after the judging is complete.


  • Awards will be given in the following categories:
     Most Cans – The structure that is built using the greatest number of food packages (cans, bags, boxes)
     Best Use of Labels – Design of the structure is enhanced by the labels. Strong use of colour and careful alignment add to the visual impact
     Best Meal – The products used in the structure could make a dish or a complete meal. Nutritious choices which include all food groups will be important
     Structural Ingenuity – How did they get that to stand? Hidden structural supports, balance, and gravity defying designs will wow judges
     Judges’ Favourite
     Honourable Mention
     People’s Choice – Voted on by the public. The structure that raises the most donations to The Food Bank in their teams’ name wins. Announced post event.
  • Photos of all structures will be submitted into the International Canstruction® competition. Winners at the local level compete internationally in the same category they won locally. See this link for more details –

Important Dates

April Build (April 15 – 22nd)

  • Food purchase deadline – February 1 – 15
  • Team sketches due – February 1
  • Team information form due – March 1
  • Food delivered to The Food Bank  – April 11
  • Mall build – Saturday, April 14 – 6 PM
  • Mall teardown – Sunday, April 22 – 5 PM

May Build (May 6 – 13th)

  • Food purchase deadline – March 1 – 15
  • Team sketches due – March 1
  • Team information form due – March 1
  • Food delivered to The Food Bank – May 2
  • Mall build – Saturday, May 5 – 6:30 PM
  • Mall teardown – Sunday, May 13 – 5 PM

Team Information Forms


May 6 - 13, 2018
April 15 – 22 and
May 6 – 13


Conestoga Mall
550 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2L 5W6
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