Request for Proposals: Strategic Planning and Visioning


Laurie Gillis, Executive Director 
Atlantic Presenters Association
Tel.: 902.471.1661 


The Atlantic Presenters Association (APA) wants to undertake a strategic planning process focused on organizational development under the guidance of a consultant. APA invites suppliers to submit proposals for this project based on this Request for Proposals. 

APA is a not-for-profit regional arts service organization; a network of presenters representing the four Atlantic Provinces. Our 111 members are the theatres, venues, festivals, and performance series that bring live performing arts experiences to communities throughout the region. APA strives to enhance the artistic and managerial leadership of our network, while educating the emerging cultural leaders of tomorrow, providing professional development opportunities on accessibility, equity, and social justice in support of equitable, respectful, and engaging experiences and spaces. APA connects our network of members in support of a respectful, equitable, innovative, and generous performing arts sector in the region.

APA’s guiding principles are:

  • Every person in the Atlantic region deserves access to performing arts;
  • Sharing meaningful experiences through live performances helps to build inclusive communities;
  • Working together in a respectful, supportive, generous way strengthens everyone and allows for our members’ development;
  • We, the Atlantic Presenters Association (members, board and staff) agree that we commit to contributing to a space that is accessible and free from oppression, harassment, and discrimination. At our gatherings, we will treat ourselves and each other with respect and dignity, regardless of age, race, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, religion and all our other diverse identities. We will not tolerate any acts of racism, white supremacy, sexism, heterosexism and cissexism, homophobia / queerphobia and transphobia, sizeism, ableism, ageism, or physical and sexual violence and harassment.


The APA was founded in 2001. An Integrated Strategic Plan was done in 2002 and in 2008 a Strategic Plan was created. In 2009 a Professional Development Needs Assessment & Strategy was done with the membership and in June 2012 the Board of Directors and staff went through a Visioning Session. Strategic Plans were done in 2013 and 2019. A review and subsequent change of the Mandate, Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles statements was undertaken earlier this year.  The founding Executive Director worked with the organization from 2006 to 2012.  The current Executive Director has been in the position for 10 years.

The organization continues to: 

  • Develop new programs through an EDI lens
  • Strengthen operations and capacity 
  • Build membership and Board
  • Build relationships with  systematically excluded communities

The organization faces challenges: 

  • Organizational resources (financial, human, etc.) are struggling to keep up with the programs offered;
  • Development of programs that are relevant to the membership and impact systematically excluded communities;
  • A small portion of the membership participate in programming, the same members are always in attendance;
  • Lack of long-term, sustainable resources to deliver ever-increasing programs and services.


APA is looking to go through an organizationally-focused strategic planning exercise that will include the following organizational goals/activities: 

1) Establish policies and procedures that increase the capacity of the organization to 

  1. be aware of the needs of the membership and respond strategically; 
  2. focus on partnerships and collaborations that provide efficiencies and create a more equitable and respectful sector;
  3. create welcoming, comfortable and safer programs for systematically excluded communities
  4.  be a learning organization; 
  5. manage change and innovate (both within the membership and within the organization).

2) Reviewing of the programs offered to ensure human resources and funding is being spent to best serve the membership, and to increase the number of members; 

3)  Review the components of all programs through the lens of the revised missions and values;

4)  Support and further develop the current EDI work of the organization


  • Consultation with the Equity Action Advisory Committee, Board of Directors and staff;
  • Consultation with the current membership and potential membership on key issues and questions ;
  • Analysis of membership consultation;
  • A set of strategic values that form a strong policy framework for organizational development;
  • A strategic plan that includes the strategic vision and the long-term planning for the organization; 
  • An operational plan template which can be used as a tool to  aid in planning and achieving the goals set in the strategic plan.


Activity Deadline
RFP submission deadline November 30, 2023
Consultant selection December 5, 2023
Start strategic planning activities with Board, EAAC, and Staff January 16 – 19, 2024
Sharing of strategic planning outcomes with membership April 24, 2024


The project is overviewed by a Strategic planning committee, to whom the Executive Director reports. The selected consultant(s) will report to the Executive Director. The consultant(s) will benefit from ongoing support from the Executive Director and from APA team members, as they are involved in individual aspects of the project.


The following qualifications are sought: 

  • Experience in strategic planning and visioning;
  • Capacity to use a variety of planning tools and to tailor the planning process to the client’s needs;
  • Knowledge of the performing arts sector and of the touring and presenting field; 
  • Knowledge and experience developing plans through an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Reconciliation lens.


The Selection Committee will use the following factors in making a decision on the award of the contract:

Criteria Points
Understanding of requirements/objectives  10
Completeness and clarity of work plan  20
Background in the EDIAR lens 10
Qualifications in the area of strategic planning  10
Knowledge of the performing arts sector 10
Other relevant qualifications  10
Financial proposal (feasibility, clarity and value for the money)  20
Innovative ideas and additional benefits  10


The proposal should include the following elements: 

  • Work plan; 
  • Financial proposal, including a detailed breakdown of the costs; 
  • Resume of the main consultant and of any sub-contracted consultants; 
  • List, and examples if possible, of similar projects completed in the past; 
  • Note possible sub-contracts anticipated in the undertaking of this project.


Proposals addressing these Terms of Reference should be submitted by email to: . The deadline for receipt of proposals November 30, 2023, 5:00 pm Atlantic Time.


No payment will be made for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal in response to the RFP.

Proposals must remain valid for a period of 30 (thirty) working days, as of the date of the deadline for submission.

APA reserves the right to: 

  • Not select any proposal and reject any or all proposals received in response to this RFP; 
  • Enter into negotiations with any proponent on any or all aspects of their proposal; 
  • Accept any proposal in whole or in part; and, 
  • Cancel and /reissue this RFP at any time.


Questions regarding this RFP may be addressed in writing to Questions may be answered publicly to all bidders in writing.

Please note this work is dependent on funding.