Administrative services for Ontario Dances grant program

Date Posted: Dec 19, 2016
Application Deadline: Jan 18, 2017
Start Date:

Salary: TBD
Province: Ontario
Region: Metro Toronto Area
City: Toronto
Term: Requests for Proposals

Organization Description

Ontario Arts Council

Arts granting organization, provincial government agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport



Job Description

SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is requesting written submissions from organizations, groups or teams capable of providing services to administer OAC’s Ontario Dances grant program on a fee-for-service basis.  This Request for Supplier Qualification (RFSQ) is intended to determine whether or not there is sufficient market interest to proceed to a competitive bidding process. 

SECTION 2. BACKGROUND

a. About OAC

OAC is a publicly funded agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  OAC’s mandate is to foster the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians.  The arts are essential to the quality of life, cultural identity, social well-being and economic prosperity of Ontario.  Access to and participation in the arts enhances lives, fosters creativity and innovation, and strengthens communities.  OAC is committed to ensuring equitable access for everyone, with particular emphasis on the following six priority groups, and the organizations that serve them and the public:

• Artists of Colour
• Deaf Artists and Artists with Disabilities
• Francophone Artists
• Indigenous Artists
• New Generation Artists (18-30 year olds)
• Artists living in Regions outside Toronto

Some of these priority groups have a unique history, identity and status in Canada, some have faced historical and/or systemic barriers, others reflect OAC’s province-wide mandate, and all are essential to the future of the arts sector. OAC acknowledges Indigenous peoples as the original occupants of this land, and is committed to furthering the growth and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis art forms, practices and cultural expression.

Within this context, OAC supports arts activity through the following four funding streams:

• Creating and Presenting
• Building Audiences and Markets
• Engaging Communities and Schools
• Developing Careers and Arts Services

For more information about OAC, visit www.arts.on.ca.

b. About Ontario Dances

Ontario Dances began as a three-year pilot project (2008-2011). The goal of Ontario Dances is to have more live dance performances in Ontario communities and more people engaged, interested and invested in dance at a local level in the province.  The program aims to increase the range and diversity of dance available to communities in Ontario outside of Toronto.  From dance classes and workshops, to artists in residence, to the presentation of dance work from Ontario-based professional dance artists, Ontario Dances will offer the public and professionals alike the opportunity to participate in dance at all levels.  Ontario Dances aims to reflect the range of artistic practices in the dance community and to support excellence, regional activity, linguistic and cultural diversity.  For more detail, see the program’s webpage available at http://www.arts.on.ca/Page4630.aspx. 

Ontario Dances has three components:

1. Audience development

Enabling more people to take part in dance as both audiences and participants through arts education/learning programs directed by dance animators in collaboration with professional dance artists hosted by the arts presenter.

2. Curatorial development

Enabling arts presenters to take part in professional development programs and networking opportunities that expand their knowledge of dance in Ontario, and participating with OAC in the promotion of dance in provincial, national and international markets for dance.  The curatorial development component has also evolved to include playing an active role in presenting networks, and identifying national and international presenter contacts.

3. Presentation of Ontario dance artists

Supporting arts presenters to undertake artistic risks and engage their audiences in new experiences of professional dance works.

Each participating arts presenter agrees to carry out the following:

• Present no less than one Ontario-based dance company each year who has not been involved in Ontario Dances in the last two years.  Each engagement must include arts learning programs supported by an artist or artists in residence.

• Engage a dance animator to facilitate the arts presenter's audience development programs that can include artist talks, master classes, and workshops for recreational and local professional participants, etc.

• Attend performances of Ontario dance companies, professional development workshops and networking sessions.

Ontario Dances provides financial support that includes:

• A subsidy for no less than one dance artist engagement fee
• Artist residency activity to support the arts presenters' audience development and outreach activities/programs. The programs must engage Ontario-resident professional dance artists.
• Dance animator's fee
• Travel assistance for the arts presenter and/or dance animator to attend performances of Ontario-based professional dance artists and, professional development and networking sessions coordinated by the administrative service provider

The program also provides a touring grant to each dance artist engaged by the arts presenter (the touring grant is awarded to the dance artist, not the arts presenter).

The program’s current annual budget is approximately $242,725 allocated as follows:

• 75% grant funds distributed by OAC directly to funding recipients
• 6% Travel Assistance component distributed to funding recipients through administrative service provider
• 6% Professional Development/Networking component distributed to funding recipients through administrative service provider
• 13% vendor service contract i.e. fees paid by OAC for services to administer Ontario Dances program

c. Rationale for outsourcing administrative services

Ontario Dances includes a grant component as well as administration of the program's professional development programs, travel assistance component, artist contract negotiations and coordinating the program's arts presenters' needs to ensure the program's performance measures are achieved.  The program is directed by OAC’s Dance Officer who is responsible for ensuring the program fulfills its objectives, for managing the contract with the administrative service provider.

OAC’s Dance section is administered by one OAC Program Officer and one Program Administrator, who are also responsible for OAC’s Awards section, and the addition of Ontario Dances strained already stretched staff availability. The purpose of contracting a third party to administer a program in OAC’s Dance section is to:
• facilitate community-engagement with Ontario’s professional dance sector in support of the Ontario Dances program
• manage the program's components
• reduce OAC’s staff and program administration costs

SECTION 3. ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES REQUIREMENTS

a. Program oversight

The OAC Dance Officer is responsible for the management of the Ontario Dances program and approves the Ontario Dances’ budget, including grant allocations, expense allocations and costs for the program components.  The organization providing services to administer Ontario Dances (the “administrative service provider”) reports to OAC’s Dance Officer, and cannot represent OAC without approval.  The administrative service provider is expected to inform OAC of all issues that arise through its performance of duties and responsibilities, and must credit OAC in all public relations and instances in fulfilling the administrative services for the program. 

b. Summary of administrative services

The administrative service provider will be expected to:

1. Assist the development of the program’s eligibility criteria, outreach to potential bew applications, administer and disseminate information to any/all applications and grant recipients, and administration of the grant recipients’ final reports
a. All application guidelines and forms, etc. are approved by OAC

2. Facilitate the application process

3. Advise potential applicants prior to the submission deadline

4. Participate as an observer in the assessment of the applications as per terms of agreement with OAC

5. Requisition and monitor the program expenses as per the reporting requirements outlined in Ontario Dances' budget, approved by OAC, to support the reimbursable eligible expenses in the program

6. Provide technical assistance to the participating arts presenters, including:
a. coordinate professional development and networking workshops and sessions
b. coordinate all arts presenters to attend performances of Ontario- based dance artists
for their performance seasons
c. support best practices in arts presentation and audience development
d. enhance skills and knowledge development opportunities to arts presenters
e. developing touring budgets with the Ontario-based dance artists engaged by the arts presenters supported through the Ontario Dances program

7. Provide an aggregated progress and final report of the Ontario Dances' activities based on outcomes/results

c. Program administration and communications services

The administrative service provider will be expected to:

• Provide the required resources, skillsets and knowledge to:
o conduct outreach to eligible program applicants
o provide advice and consultation on individual applicant files
o develop and deliver professional development activities

• Administer the program’s approved annual budget except for the program’s granting budget

• Develop and administer communications tools to:
o facilitate resource sharing among the participating arts presenters
o disseminate information about Ontario-based dance artists’ performances and/touring projects to the participating arts presenters
o provide access for Ontario-based dance artists to the program’s arts presenters

• Provide assistance to participating arts presenters such as:
o coordinating professional development and networking sessions
o coordinating all participating arts presenters to attend performances of potential Ontario-based dance artists
o support best practices in arts presentation and audience development
o enhance skills and develop knowledge of participating arts presenters

The administrative service provider will be expected to:

• Assist OAC to disseminate grant applications
• Respond to inquiries
• Advise potential applicants prior to the application deadline
• Handle all communications related to the program
• Coordinate the participating arts presenters’ requests and reports
• Confirm the dance artists’ engagement agreements
• Coordinate the Ontario-based dance artists’ touring budgets and touring grant applications to OAC’s Dance section

d. Managing the Travel Assistance Component

The Travel Assistance Component reimburses participating arts presenters’ for travel expenses incurred to attend Ontario-based dance artists’ performances in Ontario and other activities programmed through the Professional Development Workshops/Networking Component.  Reimbursement is based on the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive: https://www.ontario.ca/document/travel-meal-and-hospitality-expenses-directive 

The administrative service provider will be expected to:

• Coordinate participating arts presenters’ attendance at Ontario-based dance artists’ performances in Ontario
• Manage the Travel Assistance Component’s budget
• Reimburse eligible expenses to participating arts presenters

Travel and accommodation expenses to attend any Ontario Dances program activity are included in the vendor contract.

e. Managing the Professional Development/Networking Component

The administrative service provider will be expected to:

• Manage the Professional Development/Networking Component’s budget
• Arrange for venue rentals, catering, travel, accommodations and any additional subcontracted services as required
• Develop and deliver professional development workshops and networking sessions in Ontario, including all logistics to successfully fulfill program objectives

f. Program administration and budget control

The administrative service provider will be expected to:
• Prepare an annual work plan in consultation with OAC’s Dance Officer for each program year (April 1 – March 31) that includes measureable service deliverables
o Annual work plans require the approval of OAC’s Dance Officer

• Develop an annual program budget with OAC’s Dance Officer that incorporates the administrative service provider’s services and annual granting budget based on the program’s subsidy guidelines
o Budget is due no later than January 15 of each program year

• Provide a disbursement schedule of OAC funds to reimburse expenses associated with the Travel Assistance and Professional Development/Networking components

• Prepare and submit an annual payment schedule (cash flow statement) to OAC that justifies the delivery of services

• Submit quarterly interim reports, including budget reports

• Outline the duties and responsibilities of all staff allocated to support program administration

g. Legislation

As the administrative service provider is delivering services on behalf of an Ontario government agency, its services must comply with the following guidelines and laws of Ontario:

• Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90f31

• Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) https://www.ontario.ca/page/accessibility-laws

• Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0)
https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

• French Language Services Act (FLS)
https://www.ontario.ca/page/government-services-french

OAC is willing to provide guidance in order to ensure compliance with these requirements.

h. Administrative service provider qualifications

OAC is seeking an administrative service provider with the following qualifications:

• No less than ten years’ professional experience in the performing arts sector
• A dedicated staff member or subcontractor who has not less than ten years’ professional experience in performing arts market development in Canada
• Experience with, connections to, and knowledge of Ontario’s live arts presenting community
• Proven ability to administer granting programs in the arts
• Ability and capacity to encourage and foster audience and curatorial development
• A track record developing innovative arts programs that address the needs of Ontario arts presenters

Any candidate with questions concerning this process, eligibility or their submission is encouraged to contact Sara Brady, Purchasing Administrator, at sbrady@arts.on.ca



Additional Info:

Addendum 2, dated January 10, 2017:

This Addendum 2 is to share a response to an additional question received after the deadline to submit questions:

Question

We are a collective - we do not have any audited statements - will that disqualify us from the program?

Answer

OAC will consider submissions that do not include audited financial statements, but please state the reason the statements have not been included. 

To be able to administer Ontario Dances on a contract basis, your collective must be able to sign a contract with OAC.  This usually means that your collective would need to be established as a legal entity of some kind – for example, the current administrative services provider is a not-for-profit corporation.  Your collective wouldn’t necessarily need to be a non-profit; it could be established as a different kind of legal entity, as long as the collective is able to enter into a legally binding agreement with OAC. 

In addition to the above, your collective would need to be able to perform the services described in section 3 of the Request for Supplier Qualifications document (RFSQ) while complying with the legislation listed in section 3g.  Your collective would also need to have the qualifications listed in section 3h.

Addendum 1, dated January 9, 2017:

This Addendum 1 is to provide responses to questions received before the deadline to submit questions:

Question 1

As a recipient (organization) of OAC funding will this be a counted as a conflict of interest?

Answer 1

Being a recipient of OAC grant funding does not make your organization ineligible to submit a response to this Request for Supplier Qualification.   OAC will consider conflict of interest on a case by case basis, so please declare any potential conflicts of interest, including grants received by your organization, in your response.

Question 2

I just want clarify my understanding of the process to be followed in order to be considered as a qualified supplier to bid for the administration of Ontario Dances

The first step is the submission of a ‘supplier’ response (due Jan 18th) to the RFSQ (Request for Supplier Qualification) answering the 7 questions below.

The second step (if we qualify as a supplier and are asked to bid) is to submit a full proposal in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP).

I understand the guiding questions for the RFSQ to be:

1. Why is your organization, group or team interested in administering Ontario Dances?

2. Provide a brief history of your organization, including mission statement, number of years in operation, your current programs and/or services, any relevant awards, successes, or impact statistics. Please include a copy of your organization’s most recent audited financial statements.

3. Provide a summary of your organization’s past experience administering arts granting programs:

a. Identify who does what on your team
b. Identify lead personnel and provide resumes to demonstrate their relevant experience
c. Would all administrative services be provided by your organization? If not, please identify which service(s) you plan to subcontract and identify the subcontractors.

4. Describe how your organization would administer Ontario Dances: how would you handle the different aspects of grant program administration e.g. application intake, outreach, applicant support, professional development, etc.? How would applicants interact with your organization? How would you address accessibility, privacy and French language requirements?

5. Suggest possible efficiencies that your organization could implement to reduce the costs associated with the administration of Ontario Dances.

6. How would your organization transition the administration of Ontario Dances from the current administrative service provider? (if applicable)

7. What support would your organization need from OAC to successfully administer Ontario Dances?

If my understanding is correct, we will be happy to submit a response before January 18th.

Please advise if my understanding is correct.

Answer 2

Yes, the first step is to respond to our RFSQ.  The RFSQ is intended to determine whether or not there is enough interest to proceed to an RFP.  We will assess information provided in responses to this RFSQ and then determine how or if we proceed to the RFP stage.

Your submission should address the questions listed in section 4 of the RFSQ.  It should also:

  • demonstrate that your organization is able to perform the services described in section 3
  • demonstrate that your organization has the qualifications listed in section 3h
  • address how you will comply with the legislation listed in section 3g
  • declare any potential or existing conflicts of interest, including any OAC grants your organization might have received

Reminder that the submission deadline is Wednesday January 18, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (noon).  Please send your submission by email to sbrady@arts.on.ca.



How to Apply:

SECTION 4.               RESPONSES

Candidates should address the following in their submission:

1. Why is your organization, group or team interested in administering Ontario Dances?

2. Provide a brief history of your organization, including mission statement, number of years in operation, your current programs and/or services, any relevant awards, successes, or impact statistics.  Please include a copy of your organization’s most recent audited financial statements. 

3. Provide a summary of your organization’s past experience administering arts granting programs:
a. Identify who does what on your team
b. Identify lead personnel and provide resumes to demonstrate their relevant experience
c. Would all administrative services be provided by your organization?  If not, please identify which service(s) you plan to subcontract and identify the subcontractors.

4. Describe how your organization would administer Ontario Dances:  how would you handle the different aspects of grant program administration e.g. application intake, outreach, applicant support, professional development, etc.?  How would applicants interact with your organization?  How would you address accessibility, privacy and French language requirements? 

5. Suggest possible efficiencies that your organization could implement to reduce the costs associated with the administration of Ontario Dances. 

6. How would your organization transition the administration of Ontario Dances from the current administrative service provider? (if applicable)

7. What support would your organization need from OAC to successfully administer Ontario Dances?

SECTION 5.               SCHEDULE

Request Issued December 19, 2016

Receipt by OAC of questions from interested parties concerning the Request
January 6, 2017, 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Responses from OAC to all persons posting questions by email
January 11, 2017 by 5:00 p.m.

Submission deadline January 18, 2017, 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Questions concerning any component of this Request are to be directed by email to Sara Brady at sbrady@arts.on.ca no later than January 6, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (noon).  All questions received and answers provided will be e-mailed to all persons posting questions by January 11, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Submissions in response to this RFSQ are to be submitted by email to sbrady@arts.on.ca by 12:00 p.m. (noon) Toronto time, January 18, 2017.

SECTION 6. PROCESS

This is not a bid solicitation.  In order to fulfill the Government of Ontario’s requirements for procurement, this is a call for submissions that occurs in two stages.  The first stage is a Request for Supplier Qualification (RFSQ) and the second stage is a Request for Proposals (RFP).

This RFSQ is intended to identify candidates from whom OAC may invite formal submissions through an RFP, and ultimately select and purchase administrative services that would be deemed to offer the best overall solution.  OAC will assess information provided in responses to this RFSQ and then determine how or if it will proceed to the second stage of the procurement process.  This RFSQ is issued solely for information and planning purposes; it does not constitute an RFP.

As part of this RFSQ process, OAC reserves the right to invite some, all or none of the candidates to present elements of their submission in-person.

If OAC determines that it will proceed to an RFP, candidates selected through this RFSQ may be invited to provide a proposal for the required administrative services as determined in this RFSQ process.  OAC reserves the right to invite some, all or none of the candidates to provide proposals in response to a possible subsequent RFP, and as part of the RFP process, proposed solutions will be measured against mandatory and rated evaluation criteria. The RFP will be distributed to only shortlisted candidates that OAC deems appropriate through this RFSQ process.  To determine the shortlist, OAC will be looking for:

• no less than ten years of experience in the performing arts sector
• a dedicated staff member or subcontractor who has not less than ten years of professional experience in performing arts market development in Canada
• experience with, connections to, and knowledge of Ontario’s live arts presenting community
• proven ability to administer granting programs in the arts
• ability and capacity to encourage and foster audience and curatorial development
• a track record developing innovative arts programs that address the needs of Ontario arts presenters

If candidates choose to form a partnership, joint venture or collective, any resulting contract must be signed by all the members, unless one member has been formally appointed to act on behalf of all members.  OAC may, at any time, require each member to confirm that the representative has been appointed with full authority to act as its representative for the purposes of the RFSQ, the RFP, and any resulting contract.  If a contract is awarded to a partnership, joint venture or collective, all members will be responsible for the performance of any resulting contract.

Whereas this is an RFSQ, candidates are encouraged to submit information even if the type of services they might propose satisfies only part of the requirements stated in the RFSQ.  Candidates not responding to all requirements are asked to indicate how their solution might potentially integrate with component(s) provided by other candidates.

Any candidate with questions concerning this process, eligibility or their submission is encouraged to contact Sara Brady, Purchasing Administrator, at sbrady@arts.on.ca.

SECTION 7.              CONFLICT OF INTEREST

In addition to the other information and representations made by each candidate in their submission, each candidate must declare whether it has an actual or potential Conflict of Interest.

The candidate, by submitting the submission, warrants that to its best knowledge and belief no actual or potential Conflict of Interest exists with respect to the submission of the submission or performance of the contemplated contract.  Where OAC discovers a candidate’s failure to disclose all actual or potential Conflicts of Interest, OAC may disqualify that candidate or terminate any contract awarded to that candidate pursuant to any subsequent procurement process.



Contact Info:

Name: Sara
Telephone:
Telephone Ext.:
Fax:
Email: sbrady@arts.on.ca
Website: www.arts.on.ca

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