Canada’s Solar Decathlon team got a chance to utilize their energy-efficient cooking appliances and entertain for the first time on September 26 as they hosted one of the required dinner parties as part of the competition.
As part of the peer-evaluation portion of the competition, two members of each team are required to prepare and serve dinner to two decathletes from each of three neighbouring homes as well as two VIP guests. Visitors from the other teams then assign points based on the quality of the meal and the experience.
After sourcing all of the required ingredients for their feast, Canada’s Christopher Fry and Johann Kyser began preparing their meal at 2.30 p.m. Guests from Belgium’s Ghent University, China’s Tongji University, and the University of Maryland came calling at 8.30 p.m. to enjoy a traditional Aboriginal menu consisting of slow-roasted bison, three sisters or ‘celebration’ rice, berries, and mint tea.
“I think they really enjoyed it,” says Kyser, aboriginal relations manager for the team. He adds that the evening was really about gathering and sharing stories. The team’s cultural-spiritual advisor Dr. Reg Crowshoe and his wife Rose were both in attendance as VIP guests. “Having Dr. Crowshoe there sharing stories and connecting the TRTL home to the traditional teepee was memorable,” notes Kyser. “We could have listened to him talk for hours.”
The team opted to host one of their dinner parties in an Aboriginal theme as a chance to showcase the cultural elements of the home and traditional Canadian culture. For the second dinner party on September 28, the team prepared contemporary Canadian cuisine complete with fiddle music performed live by Haskayne School of Business student and team sponsorship lead Carolyn Parker.
While Fry and Kyser hosted dinner the Cenovus TRTL home, their teammates visited neighbouring teams’ homes including Belgium’s E-cube home, China’s Y Container, and the University of Maryland’s WaterShed.
The winner of the affordability contest was announced at 2.30 p.m. on September 27 in the main tent on Solar Decathlon site at West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. The team received a bit of feedback from former Canadian team engineering lead Mike Gestwick, who was shadowing the jury when they toured the home last Thursday. “He said they did really well,” says Kyser of Kim Gould and Adam Cripps, who presented to the jury. One of the jurors even says, “Every team should have a Kim Gould.”
Results announcements continued through the week with the architecture award announced September 28 afternoon, the engineering award on September 29, and the communications award on September 30. On October 1, the overall competition results were announced at 2.30 p.m.
In addition to hosting a second dinner party on September 28, the team also hosted a movie night in the home on September 27 and attended a special reception at the Canadian Embassy on September 29.
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