SpaceFinder Alberta

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SpaceFinder Alberta

Transition Plan

The deadline for this opportunity has passed.

Request for Proposals
SpaceFinder Alberta Transition Plan
Analysis and Recommendations

Issued: December 2, 2020
Extended Deadline: January 18, 2021 at 4:00pm MST

Calgary Arts Development is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to assess the feasibility of replacing SpaceFinder Alberta. These experts will evaluate and advise on the overall process, cost, schedule, marketing, and sources of funding to deliver a new online space-matching tool.

SpaceFinder Alberta successfully connected people seeking short-term space with people who have space for rent. Unfortunately, the US organization that founded SpaceFinder across North America retired this online space-matching tool, effective October 2020.

Exploring and securing a replacement online space-matching tool is important to:

  • Help animate and create vibrancy in our communities by making the most of existing real estate assets, particularly for those in the arts, creative, and entrepreneurial sector.
  • Help policy makers make better informed decisions by collecting and analyzing spaces data.
  • Help spaces support their organizations’ sustainability by renting out their spaces.
  • Help citizens live creative lives by connecting them with creative space in their communities.

As the city’s designated arts development authority, Calgary Arts Development supports and strengthens the arts to benefit all Calgarians. We invest and allocate municipal funding for the arts provided by The City of Calgary and leverage these funds to provide additional resources to the arts sector.

As such, we are particularly interested in an online space-matching tool that is simple to use, resourceful, and accessible for those offering arts spaces and those seeking such space.

Request for Proposals Process

Key Contact

All inquiries can be directed to Joni Carroll, Arts Spaces Consultant, Calgary Arts Development at

Closing Date

This RFP closes at 4:00pm MDT on January 18, 2021. The response should be emailed to the key contact with the subject “SpaceFinder Transition Plan:  Analysis and Recommendations” before the closing date. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Question Period

Written questions via email to will be accepted until December 14, 2020 at 4:00pm MST. Answers will be available upon request to all consultants by January 5, 2021. Calgary Arts Development will be closed December 18, 2020, through January 4, 2021, inclusive.

UPDATED December 16, 2020 – A PDF of the questions and answers can be downloaded at

Response Review Committee

All responses will be reviewed by Calgary Arts Development management.

Review and Selection

Given the nature of the work to be completed, the lowest cost consultant may not be selected. The consultant chosen to work on this project will be the consultant that provides Calgary Arts Development with the strongest assurance that the work will be completed at a high quality in the time allotted and within the fixed budget. A short list of consultants will be contacted by January 25, 2021 for an interview with Calgary Arts Development management.

Acceptance of Responses

This RFP is not a binding agreement to purchase goods or services. Responses to this RFP are assessed in light of the evaluation criteria below, and select consultants will be invited to interview for the contract.


Need for the SpaceFinder Transition Plan
  • Empty space is an issue across the province, one that is made worse by the current pandemic.
  • Those that have empty space want to rent it out. The global pandemic has made this situation worse: while demand for space has dropped, new and transformed demand for space will increase in the future.
  • Those who need space want to find the right space to meet their requirements. Many groups in the creative, non-profit, and small business communities have trouble finding space for meeting, creating, rehearsing, presenting, collaborating, gathering or celebrating.
  • Since 2016, SpaceFinder Alberta successfully connected Albertans seeking short-term space with Albertans who have space for rent. Alberta has the highest per capita listings in all of North American SpaceFinder and high numbers of space seekers as supported by our Google Adword grant—all yielding important data about short-term space supply and demand throughout the province.
Outcomes from the SpaceFinder Transition Plan
  • Short-Term Results:
    • Actionable report to guide the next steps to delivering an online space-matching tool to Albertans.
  • Long-Term Goals:
    • A new space-matching tool to serve Albertans and contribute to post-pandemic recovery.
    • More space is used more often by more people in our communities, particularly those in the creative and entrepreneurial sector.

Services and Deliverables

The services and deliverables sought in this RFP are:

  1. Delivery of an actionable report:

Goal of the report is to provide the information needed to guide the next steps to delivering an online space-matching tool, including the overall process, cost, and schedule related to:

  • Anticipated impacts on short-term real estate rentals due to COVID-19.
  • End-product criteria.
  • Possible existing products.
  • Capital investment costs.
  • Possible capital funding sources.
  • Monetization of the platform.
  • Management structure.
  • Maintenance costs.
  • Relaunch and marketing costs.
  1. Appendices detailing all research include appendices documenting research undertaken for this report.

All materials generated from the consultative process will remain the property of Calgary Arts Development. Draft and final reports will not be shared with any other organization without the expressed written consent of Calgary Arts Development.

Timeline and Fee Schedule

The full report is due by March 31, 2021, unless otherwise agreed.

Responses to this RFP must include a proposed work plan schedule and a proposed budget with payment terms.

Evaluation Criteria

Calgary Arts Development will review all responses with the following criteria:

  1. The strength of the project team and qualifications of its members.
  2. The depth of experience with an emphasis on similar projects.
  3. The soundness of the proposed methodology and work plan.
  4. The value associated with the proposed budget.
  5. Proven capacity to deliver the project requirements on time and on budget.

Knowledge of Calgary and of Alberta is an asset. Familiarity with SpaceFinder is an asset. Familiarity with the arts sector is an asset.

Note that references will only be sought once a short list of potential consultants has been established. The result of this inquiry will provide an additional consideration over and above the criteria listed above.

At the discretion of Calgary Arts Development, a consultant may be asked to clarify a portion of the submission or to provide additional information that could be used to re-evaluate the proposal. At the discretion of Calgary Arts Development, a consultant may also be invited for an interview. The results of the interview will serve to revise or confirm the evaluation results.

Proposal Submission Requirements

Please limit the response to a maximum of 10 pages. All responses must include:

  • Cover Letter
  • Section 1: Project Team and Qualifications
  • Section 2: Experience and References
  • Section 3: Proposed Methodology
  • Section 4: Proposed Work Plan and Deliverables
  • Section 5: Budget and Proposed Payment Terms

Conflicts of Interest

Calgary Arts Development’s Policy on Conflict of Interest is:

“… any proposed activity with the potential to benefit an organization or initiative with which the director or volunteer committee member shall participate in…”

The consultant should disclose conflicts of interest, in writing, to the review committee who will consider the nature of the consultant’s responsibilities and the degree of potential or apparent conflict in deciding the course of action that the consultant needs to take to remedy the conflict of interest.


“Request for Proposals (RFP)” means this document including attached appendices.

“Consultant” means an organization or team responding to this RFP.

“Response” means a consultant’s response to this RFP and includes all of the consultant’s attachments and presentation materials.

“Services” means the duties, tasks and responsibilities as described in this RFP.

“Arts Spaces” are defined broadly, as every link in the “value chain” from creation space, rehearsal space, production space, warehouse and storage space and office space through to presentation and performance space. This arts spaces ecosystem supports all disciplines in the sector, including dance, film, literary arts, music, new media, theatre, and visual arts. It supports community arts, professional arts and education in the arts. Spaces can be developed and operated as for-profit or not-for-profit.

Encl. Attachments:

Criteria: Online Short-Term Space-Matching Platform
Other Comparable Online Space-Matching Platforms
Questions from Respondents (added December 16, 2020)

Download the Request for Proposals as a PDF

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