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Equity Audits & Organization Structure Review

Issued: September 22, 2021
Responses Due: October 15, 2021, at 11:59pm MT
Submit Questions & Proposal To:
Lesley Hinger, General Manager

We acknowledge that the land we gather on, Moh’kinsstis, is the ancestral territory of the Siksikaitsitapi—the Blackfoot people—comprising the Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani Nations, as well as Treaty 7 signatories, the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Îyâxe Nakoda Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations. This land is also the home of Métis Nation Region 3. We recognize all Indigenous people of Turtle Island who call Treaty 7 home.

We acknowledge that there has been art, music, dance, storytelling, and ceremony on this land since time immemorial and it is in the spirit of this land and its people that we do our work.

Who Are We?

Calgary Arts Development Authority is our city’s designated arts development authority. We provide grant investments to hundreds of arts organizations, individual artists, and groups. We value relationships, generosity, reciprocity, plain language, and curiosity. We are a public agency stewarding public funds in the interest of the public good.

We believe the arts have the power to build our city. Through the arts development strategy, Living a Creative Life, our vision is a creative, connected, prosperous Calgary where every resident has the opportunity to live a creative life. We foster a sustainable and resilient arts sector, and support arts-led city building.

Strong relationships are central to our work. We honour artists and believe that art is a critical component of public good. We welcome new introductions and partnerships with artists and arts organizations as well as with others whose work may be outside the arts who are trying to make our city great through living a creative life.

Our team has been working towards creating shared environments where all people can feel safe, heard, and validated. A sensitivity to the lived experiences of diverse, marginalized, and equity-seeking people is very important as we continue valuing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) in all aspects of our work.

What Are We Seeking?

Calgary Arts Development is undergoing an organizational transformation spurred by our increased focus on EDIA, the doubling of our budget in 2019, and the acquisition of the public art program in early 2021. In order to bring this major new program stream into our organization, we will be increasing our staff to almost double the size.

Calgary Arts Development is seeking the services of external consultant(s) to undertake an organization-wide review and equity audits. The results we are seeking include recommendations about the ideal organizational structure to reflect our culture and values and to better serve the sector, as well as strategies on how best to achieve our EDIA and programmatic goals in service to arts communities and sector. It is understood that the contracted consultant may need to subcontract other consultants to ensure the EDIA audits are led by members of the prioritized groups: Indigenous, Black, people of colour, those who identify as 2SLGBTQIAP+, and persons with disabilities.

What is the Scope of Work?
  • To undertake a series of equity audits based on our commitment to Indigenous reconciliation, racial equity, disability justice, and sexual and gender diversity in order to identify gaps, possibilities and an action plan. Review all parts of our operations through an EDIA lens including leadership, governance, communications, community investment, research and impact, operations including finance and human resources, vision, mission, purpose, values, strategic framework, public art, and engagement.
  • To review and use findings from previous internal research such as employee surveys; town hall transcripts; equity, diversity, and inclusion surveys; arts professionals surveys; and other materials supplied by Calgary Arts Development.
  • To review policies and activities of other arts funding agencies and create a compilation of equity programs of similar organizations to help inform recommendations.
  • To undertake meaningful engagement with communities to receive feedback and assess community members’ perspectives of Calgary Arts Development regarding EDIA. “Communities” refers to arts organizations, civic partners, artists, The City of Calgary, Calgary Arts Development grant assessors, and members of 2SLGBTQIAP+ communities, centering the voices of Indigenous, Black, and other racialized individuals, as well as persons with the lived experience of disabilities.
  • To undertake a comprehensive organizational review to examine team structure, work culture, internal engagement and communications, workflow and collaboration, and to understand how staff and contractors can better serve each other across the enterprise and better reflect our values in service to our community.
  • To propose internal structures for greater impact to the public good and new strategies to live up to our commitment to equity.

The work is to be conducted over approximately three months beginning as soon as possible in 2021.

Project Deliverables & Desired Outcomes
Equity Audits

Audits of programs, policies, structures, practices, and culture through both an anti-racist and anti-ableist perspective resulting in qualitative and quantitative data regarding the current work and workplace of Calgary Arts Development. We are also seeking stakeholder perspectives and expectations for future organizational culture change in relation to centering Reconciliation and EDIA practices and policies in our work in order to live up to our commitment to Indigenous reconciliation, racial equity, disability justice, and sexual and gender diversity.

Organization Structure Review

A comprehensive assessment of how best to achieve our EDIA goals, how best to adapt our staff structure, and how best to improve work culture, internal engagement and communications, workflow and collaboration, and to understand how staff and contractors can better serve each other across the enterprise and better reflect our values in service to arts communities and sector. There is an added urgency to the organizational review due to the acquisition of the public art program and the resulting growth of our staff.


We acknowledge there are different ways of sharing the results of an audit and organization structure review and we welcome consultant(s) to use their preferred approach. We require an overview of the audit and review, delivered in your preferred method, detailing the process, key themes, analysis of the gaps and disconnects between the current and future/desired state of the organization, and opportunities to build upon. The report should include recommendations for embedding new inclusive policies and practices into Calgary Arts Development’s culture and into all function areas, including achievable short-term action steps and sustainable long-term goals based on the specific aspirations of our organization. It should also include an organizational chart outlining the best structure for Calgary Arts Development to achieve its internal and external goals.


Our current budget is approximately $70,000 inclusive of fees and expenses. We anticipate a phased approach for this work and are open to negotiating a range of fees related to what deliverables might be possible by your group. We are also open to collaborations of consultants working together whereby one group might sub-contract various aspects of the work required in order to provide all of the deliverables requested.

Submission Requirements

Submit a proposal including the following:

  • Full legal name of business, GST number, and incorporation number (if applicable) who will oversee all work proposed.
  • Location of proponent including full address, email, and contact details.
  • Proposed project team members, bios, and interest in this work.
  • Your approach to centering leadership and voices of Indigenous, Black, and racialized individuals as well as persons with the lived experience of disability.
  • Previous experience:
    • Experience (yours or subcontractors) providing consulting services, including audits or assessments related to Indigenous reconciliation, racial equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, cultural competency, and sexual and gender diversity.
    • Experience working with organizations going through culture transformations, organizational change, and growth.
    • Experience and philosophy regarding your work as part of a multicultural, multiracial, multi abilities team. What is your direct experience with Indigenous reconciliation, racial equity, disability justice, and sexual and gender diversity, and how has this experience affected your processes?
    • Relevant experience in the charitable, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors.
    • Provide a case study as an example of your previous experience (What was the situation? What did you do? How long did it take? How did it go? What has follow-up revealed?)
    • Provide a sample list of past and current clients and a description of how your approaches have changed over time and what has affected this change.
    • Describe your approach to this work:
      • Identification of which deliverables you can address.
      • Work plan describing methodologies, approaches, and roles and responsibilities for how the work will be accomplished.
      • Confirmation of willingness and approach to work in concert with other consulting firms or individuals to achieve the deliverables, if applicable.
    • Compensation: Your expected rate and other estimated costs including a breakdown of the proposed budget by deliverable.
Selection Criteria

We will use the following criteria to select a consulting firm or individual(s) to conduct this work:

  • Centering leadership and voices of Indigenous, Black, and racialized individuals as well as persons with lived experience of disabilities given the existing system and context in which we live.
  • Demonstrated commitment to operationalizing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility within your work.
  • Experience undertaking equity audits.
  • Experience working with organizations going through culture transformations, organizational change, and growth.
  • Understanding of the arts sector in Calgary and Treaty 7 territory.
  • Commitment to an approach that is grounded in decolonization, racial justice, disability justice, and gender diversity.
  • Proven experience engaging with community, especially Indigenous, Black, other racialized individuals, communities of disability culture, 2SLGBTQIAP+ communities, as well as grassroots initiatives.
  • Overall budget with options to adopt a phased approach with proposed timeline.
  • Facilitation experience, drawing from complementary and innovative methodologies, working in online spaces such as Zoom.
  • References who can speak to your experience doing the kind of work we are seeking.
  • Comfort addressing sensitive topics with humility, confidentiality and grace.
  • Ability to be creative and adaptable.
  • Calgary Arts Development may request and receive clarification from any proponent when evaluating a proposal. We may invite some or all the proponents to meet in person to further evaluate the proposal.
  • Proposal submissions will be evaluated on the proponent’s capability and fee for services in addition to value-added services. Calgary Arts Development reserves the right to award the contract to any proponent and not necessarily to the lowest cost bid. We also reserve the right not to award a contract pursuant to this request for proposal (RFP).
  • Calgary Arts Development retains complete discretion in deciding which proposals meet the requirements set out in the RFP and what evidence is considered adequate to indicate compliance with those requirements. Calgary Arts Development is not obligated to provide reasons to any responding party with respect to our discretion in selecting the proponent.

Submit proposals as a single attachment to:

Lesley Hinger, General Manager
Submission Deadline: October 15, 2021, at 11:59pm MT

For more information including background and context, download the request for proposals as a PDF.