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Canned food shows our patriotism

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Grade 6 girls from St. Joseph Elementary — Sophia Grenier, left, Emma White, Lauren Hunt and Tia Routley — build a flapping Canadian flag out of cans at the start of Canstruction Kelowna Tuesday at Orchard Park mall.
For now, they are an odd collection of cans, cartons and boxes.
But by Thursday night, they will be patriotic symbols of Canada.
"The theme this year is All Things Canadian," said St. Joseph Elementary teacher Vivian Farr.
"So we're making four Canadian flags blowing in the wind out of these 3,468 cans."
She's motioning to the piled cases of canned soup that will form the structure - the labels of the tomato soup making up the red of the flag, the labels of cream of mushroom soup standing in for the white.
Planning, setup and building started Tuesday at Orchard Park mall for Kelowna's fifth annual Canstruction fundraiser.
Seven groups are building giant sculptures out of the provided cans, cartons and boxes.
Four Grade 6 girls from St. Joe's - Sophia Grenier, Emma White, Lauren Hunt and Tia Routley - already had a good start on the flap of one flag by mid-afternoon Tuesday.
Meanwhile, three UBC Okanagan mechanical engineering students stood around scratching their heads.
"We're a bit disorganized," said Lena Risler with a laugh.
"Maybe we need the structural engineering students here."
The university students were going to build the Olympic rings out of cans as a nod to the Sochi Winter Games.
However, funding from the school of engineering fell through.
"Sun-Rype has generously provided product for our plan B," said Risler.
"So we'll build a beaver out of these 900 one-litre boxes of melon-mango juice, these 400 boxes of granola bars and all these fruit snacks."
All the juice and food was scattered about as the students finalized their plan to actually get started on construction.
Five other teams are also building Canadian symbols out of cans and other food stuffs in the mall's North and Sky courts.
They are Maple Reinders, Orchard Park, Rotaract, Save On Foods and Glenrosa Middle School.
Teams can work during mall hours on their creations and need to be finished by 6 p.m. Thursday.
Judges will peruse the offerings and give out awards at 6:30 p.m. for juror's favourite, honourable mention, best use of labels, structural ingenuity and best meal.
The public is invited by to check out construction progress and for the awards.
You can also vote for the people's choice award in person or online at KelownaCanstruction.com.
The sculptures will remain on display through Sunday and then will be "de-canstructed" so the food can be passed along to the Kelowna and West Kelowna food banks, Salvation Army and St. Joseph's charities to pass out to those in need.
"The groups will get about 15,000 cans for distribution," said Lenetta Parry, the manager of the Kelowna and West Kelowna food banks.
"And being in the mall gives us great exposure. People can drop by, check out Canstruction and donate non-perishable food items or cash. Canstruction is also an international design and build competition that raised 17 million pounds of food at events around the world last year."

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