Please note we have extended the date to register an intent to enter the contest to February 9, 2018.

The Junior Optimist Club of Oakville (JOI) and Food4Kids Halton are challenging Oakville High Schools to participate in our first annual CANstruction Challenge. It’s a fun way to collect much needed food for Food4Kids Halton which delivers bags of food to schools on Fridays to children who would not have had food for the weekends, and discreetly puts it in their backpacks to take home. February and March are months when food supplies are low. Have fun and make a difference here in Oakville!

So please consider a school wide food drive with the added fun of a team building some kind of structure in one school day to enter for the Oakville Junior Optimist CANstruction Plaque for your school for a year!

This is the list of non-perishable peanut free food items needed the most to use for your structure.

Canned hearty soups             Apple Sauce Cups         Canned Pastas & Stews
Cans of tuna                         Cans of Salmon            Habitant Soups
Fruit Cups                            Stagg Chilli Cans           Boxes of Granola Bars
Boxes of Oatmeal packages   Raisin/craisin boxes       Cracker & Tuna Snacks

Below are the rules and how to submit your entry. CANstruction intent to participation by email is required by
February 9th. All entry forms and photos must be submitted by email to by February 28, 2018.

Here are two posters you can post in your highschool and below that are the Rules for the Challenge. You can download the entire package including posters, rules and entry form here.


CANstruction Rules and Guidelines

Top 10 Rules for Teams

1. Teams are allowed to include one or more Mentors from your school teachers or staff to assist with concept and design (not build). Often this person is involved in the STEM area of the school.

2. Each high school team must collect their own food from the students and members of their school. Your school can decide the collection time (not to exceed 1 week).

3. Structure size may not exceed 10’x10’x10’.

4. Only 5 persons may work on building the structure at a time, which must be done within one school day.

5. Submit entry information required by email to the Junior Optimist Club (JOI) at

6. No non-food props not allowed, except for some form of signage of the school name is required in the submitted photo.

7. Leveling material if required, between levels of your structure, must be no more than 1⁄4” thick and may not be load bearing. Foam core, MDF and cardboard are allowed. For unusual shapes can use wood or metal rods as support.

8. No gluing, welding or other permanent affixing of cans allowed. Tape if required is permissible. See details below.

9. Only food from list above to be used. No expired food allowed. Labels must remain intact.

10. Follow Safety precautions. No horseplay on the structure.


Useful Tips and Guidelines

1. Structure Concept Development

Your structure can be anything from buildings to every day items.  
THINK OF CAPTURING A MOMENT – i.e. an apple is good but an apple with a bite out of it is better. THINK OF POP CULTURE REFERENCES – What will harness a spectator's attention to get them to focus on hunger and your work of art? THINK OF SOMETHING ABSTRACT – What will make someone stop to look at your structure rather than just pass by? Is it interesting? Would you snap a photo of it? Also see judging criteria section.

2.  Shapes

TALL CANS VS. SHORT CANS – Short cans (e.g. tuna cans) make great gradual curves! Think of ways to incorporate both types of cans. Use small cans for the rounded portions and tall cans for straight lines. This will also give more variety of food to the food bank. You can also use boxes of smaller packages of format food.  
Canned food can be joined using any of the following methods:
Clear packaging tape, double sided tape, duct tape, Velcro, fishing line, wire, rubber bands, zip straps etc. Any method that provides easy demounting is permitted provided the labels and cans are NOT damaged. No gluing, welding or other permanent affixing of cans allowed. Rods used for alignment ARE acceptable.

3. Tips

There is a maximum of 5 builders permitted at one time within the 10’ x 10’ area. There can be additional team members working outside of this area during the build out. There is no limit to the amount of people involved in the planning, logistics and design.

4. Always Observe Safety Precautions!

The following safety precautions provide important information intended to prevent personal injury to the builder and others, and property damage.

  • Closed toed shoes are necessary for protection against foot injuries.
  • Watch where you are walking. Don't run.
  • Do not distract the attention of fellow volunteers. Do not engage in any act which would endanger another person.
  • Lift correctly - with legs, not the back. If the load is too heavy, get help.
  • Do not use power tools or equipment until you have been properly instructed in the safe work methods and become authorized to use them.

Take caution when getting on and off any equipment.

5. Entries

Please register an intent to enter the contest by February 9, 2018. Entry application deadline is February 28, 2018. High schools must submit the attached Entry Form by email to: Any questions can also be submitted there or by phone to Vicki Mains, Optimist Club President at 647-261-4004. Judging criteria include: creativity, originality, ability to get the message about hunger across, amount of food used, and visual impact. Representatives from JOI and Food4Kids will judge all entries. Decision of the judges is final.

You will need to dismantle your structure after confirmed phone confirmation that we have received all components of your entry submission. We will also try to visit in person to view it live. The dismantled food from the structure will be picked up by Food4Kids.

Thank you and GOOD LUCK to Everyone!