Step Inside the Hug Mug


Athena Koodoo, a grade 11 student who worked on the Hug Mug alongside alumni Ted Geddert ('84), said she was grateful for the experience and mentorship.

“Without MBCI Alumni, this project would not have happened. Ted Geddert was the cornerstone of the Mug. He was there from pretty much day one, and made the hut a reality. He not only provided the things we needed to build, but also taught us everything we needed to know about actually constructing the Mug. He taught us to properly set and screw the boards together and his music playlists kept us energized through the process.

When asked what she learned most during this project, Koodoo answered, “One of the most important things I picked up from this project was realizing that small details really do matter. Whether it is finding the correct shade of red paint or sanding down the top of the Mug, these details will effect the final product. I’ve found this to be true in many of my other classes. From Chemistry to Canadian History, the small details do matter.”

Koodoo hopes that the Hug Mug provides a place of community for all those who visit it, “When people visit the Hug Mug, I hope that they enjoy it. Hopefully people use it to get warm and escape the snow, but I also hope they use it as a place to meet new people.”

Merlin Bruan, Art teacher at MBCI was thrilled with the alumni involvement during the length of this project. “We had numerous alumni step up and help us in this endeavour. Andy DeFehr ‘86) was instrumental in helping us with funding and providing a great warehouse space in which to work.  Ted Geddert was asked, along with his wife Carolyn (Wall ‘84), to be on our expert panel in the design phase of the project.  Ted became an essential part of this project as the build leader!  It was wonderful for him to launch himself into our lives and provide great leadership in helping the grade 11 Art students build this hut! Hans Boge (‘90) and Brendan Klassen  (‘12), (current architecture student) also joined us in our critique session where each student got to present their ideas to the panel. David (‘86) and Stefanie (Martens ‘88) Frischbutter from Espresso Junction, without a moment’s hesitation, readily volunteered to provide the hot chocolate to give away,” Braun commented.

In the end, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity put MBCI  Art students on the same stage as architects and designers from around the world.

“This whole Warming Hut project and how the students were involved, wouldn’t have been possible without alumni participation. From funding of materials to building expertise, alumni stepped up and helped us make this build a reality. We, as a school, both designed and built our hut (with alumni help). I’m pretty proud of how alumni stepped up, particularly in being experts in areas in which we were not very capable,” concluded Braun.