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Virtual Competition


How It Works

Canstruction is an international hunger relief charity that raises millions of pounds of food each year for local food banks. Each year, Canstruction chapters host competitions all across the world where teams get the chance to show off their design skills and work together to build and exhibit jaw-dropping, innovative structures. 

Because of COVID-19, not everyone has the chance to participate in our physical builds this year despite food banks’ needs being more dire than ever. That’s where our new virtual competition comes in.


Instead of a physical build, teams and individuals have the option to fundraise and construct their CANtastic® structures virtually. They can then submit plans and 3D renderings that will go on to compete internationally in the following categories: Best Original Design, Most Cans, Best Use of Labels, People’s Choice, Best Meal, and Best University Design.


You'll also have the option to donate your design for a good cause: empowering our youth and university events to create future builds based on your designs and give back to their communities!


To start a virtual competition, you’ll need to register with us as either a chapter or individual. You'll then be responsible for: 


  • Raising funds

  • Creating and designing structures

  • Donating funds to your local food bank




With our virtual event, you can choose to register either as a chapter or individual. 

Citywide Competitions

Citywide Competitions are local Canstruction organizations with competing teams (e.g. Canstruction New York). You can register as a new or existing chapter and recruit teams to participate or, if you already have a chapter in your city, join our virtual event through your local city chapter.


You can register as an individual if you don't have a Canstruction chapter in your area or would like to compete independently.

Canstruction, Inc. is U.S. 501c3 non-profit charity. All program fees paid to Canstruction, Inc. are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law and go towards overhead expenses and helping expand the work we do. If your city chapter doesn't have a U.S. federal 501c3 tax exemption for sponsors, ask your local food bank if you can use their tax exempt ID as part of your Canstruction competition.

Upon registering, you will receive the following event support materials:

  • Canstruction's Official Virtual Competition Manual which includes planning materials, rules & regulations, general guidelines, fundraising tips, etc. The manual takes you through every part of the process like recruiting teams and sponsors, logistics, fundraising, and marketing.

  • Canstruction's Branding Style Guide which provides graphics and branding materials (ads, signage, posters, banners, stationary), logos, fonts, color options, etc to create posters, signs, press collateral for promoting your citywide competition.

  • Customer support from our National Headquarters

Citywide Competition Registration

Entry Fee: $250 (sign up)

Entry Fee with local awards: $500 (sign up)

Similar to our regular Citywide Competition, you can register as a new/existing chapter with competing teams or compete through a local Canstruction chapter. 

ANY organization is eligible to host a Canstruction competition including but not limited to associations or companies of the design/build industry, food banks, pantries, charities, malls, and civic organizations.


To find teams who would be interested in participating in your Canstruction event, reach out to local engineering, architecture, and construction firms and organizations. For example, you can ask your local AIA (American Institute of Architects) chapter to send out an email blast to their members about the event with information on how to sign up and why it would benefits firms to participate. 


Individual Registration

Toronto_Entuitive, PCL and Parkin_2016_B

Entry fee: $100 (sign up)

If you don't have a local Canstruction citywide chapter in your area, you're still eligible to compete in our virtual event. You'll simply need to register as an individual and be given a lower threshold for entry in lieu of having less access to citywide chapter resources like sponsors, PR opportunities, fundraising, and marketing.

We strongly urge individuals to create and donate  designs for our Best University Design awards. Your donated design will help our youth and university teams to create future builds based on your designs and give back to their communities!


Each chapter or individual is responsible for raising their own donations.

Plan your digital build similarly to as you would a real build. Builds should be designed out of a total can count that you could realistically build with the funds you raise. So, if you raise $5000, you could use $5000 $1 cans

Fundraising Minimums

  • Chapters: $1,500 minimum

  • Individuals: $1,000 minimum

Some chapters require teams to fundraise on their own. Others may hold virtual fundraisers for the chapter as a whole or ask for donations from grocery stores and sponsors in exchange for publicity. 


The official virtual competition manual explores these topics in depth with suggested sponsors, PR opportunities, fundraising, and marketing ideas. Your local food bank or hunger organization can also be a vital asset in helping to organize these events. Food banks often have prior experience marketing their causes and generating PR. 

Hosting the Event 


Upon registering you will receive access to the official Canstruction manual and corresponding materials. These materials will work as a roadmap that guide you through every part of the process of creating an event from start to finish including:

  • Recruiting teams and sponsors for citywide events

  • Fundraising

  • Marketing

  • Showcasing sculptures online

  • Submitting to the international competition

  • And more!


Award categories include:

Best Original Design. Best original design.

Most Cans. Design with the most cans.

Best Use of Labels. Most creative use of labels to form a design.

People's Choice. Most popular design.

Best Meal. Design with the healthiest, most well-rounded ingredients.

Best University Design. The best original design donated to our youth and university teams to create future builds based on.


International Competition

Winning cansculptures from each citywide competition go on to compete through digital submittal in our International Virtual Competition. Photographs of the international winning structures are posted on our website and social media for one year. Citywide competitions are required to submit results using this link.

Individuals can also submit their sculptures to the international competition for as many as two categories using this link.

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