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State museum does the can-can

Annual Canstruction event moves up the national rankings

Crews assemble a scene from “Toy Story”  for the Canstruction exhibit at the New York State Museum, which will be on display through April 24.

Crews assemble a scene from “Toy Story” for the Canstruction exhibit at the New York State Museum, which will be on display through April 24. Photo by Billy DeLap.

— Canstruction is an international program that takes place in 250 other cities around the world. The Albany competition ranks in the top 10 for raising the most cans.

“Internationally, they rank the top 25 cities every year for the biggest impact they make. That is a combination of number of cans provided and any cash raised through the event. In our first three years, we were number 25, 13 and 10 respectively. So it’s like Toronto, New York, London, Boston, Troy, N.Y.,” said Stein.

“To see Troy, N.Y., as number 10 next to London and New York City is amazing, and now all of us are pleading with the community to bring as many cans as they can so we can break into that top 10. If Troy passes Boston or New York City, it would be such a peak for the Capital Region.”

The American Institute of Architects is based in Troy so that is why the competition is listed as Troy even though the competition takes place in Albany.

The teams come up with a design and raise money to pay for the cans. Price Chopper then brings the cans to the museum for the teams and also sells the cans at a discount and assigns a store manager to help each team pick out their cans.

It is a big help for them because in many of the other cities, Stein said, the teams have to transport the cans. When many of the displays use more than 4,000 cans, moving them all is a serious project.

While Price Chopper is the main sponsor, UPS, Kohl’s and local food pantries supply 200 volunteers that help with cleaning up, moving cans and setting up dinner for the designers.

The teams spend months making their designs, deciding which cans to use and picking out the color schemes, fundraising and making adjustments to the designs.

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