Request for Proposal: Website Design & Development Partner/Agency

Date Posted: Apr 07, 2021
Application Deadline: May 07, 2021
Start Date: May 07, 2021

Salary From: 65K To 65K
Province: Ontario
Region: Metro Toronto Area
City: Toronto
Employee Benefits: N/A
Organization's Field/Discipline: The Arts
Job's focus: Creative
Job Type: Requests for Proposals
Career Level: Doesn’t apply

Organization Description

The Power Plant
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre is Canada's leading public gallery devoted exclusively to the art of our time and is recognized as an important centre for contemporary art in North America and in the world. Over the past 34 years, its reputation for presenting cutting edge exhibitions, superior catalogues and editions, and challenging special events, has remained unparalleled. Presenting contemporary art by living artists of local, national, and international stature, The Power Plant's mission is to present and disseminate the best contemporary art in all and any media at its downtown waterfront gallery and offsite through partnerships in Toronto, Canada, and abroad.

Job Description

Request for Proposal (RFP): 
Website Design & Development Partner/Agency for The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
RFP Issued: Wednesday, 7 April 2021
Deadline for Proposals: Friday, 7 May 2021, 5PM ET


The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (TPP) is seeking proposals from qualified professionals, organizations, or teams who are experts in website design and development and who have direct experience and interest in working with arts and culture non-profit organizations and institutions.

The selected candidate will work closely with TPP’s Marketing & Communications team in close collaboration with the Director and Artistic Director and senior leadership to develop a new website for The Power Plant that better reflects the brand and clearly communicates TPP's exhibitions, programs, and offerings. This project will include: UX and wireframe recommendations, design, website development, CMS and archive solutions, integration of third-party plugins, hosting, project management through to launch, and potential maintenance and support.


Since 1987, The Power Plant has been on a mission to create an open culture and community for people to be face-to-face with thought-provoking contemporary art and ideas. We have a culturally-diverse audience whose lives and communities we seek to enrich through encouraging exploration of self and society.

More than a gallery, The Power Plant is a community hub that caters to adults, youth, and children through broad and unique programming. It is a window into a diverse range of ideas and perspectives that inspire unlimited personal discovery.

The Power Plant aims to break down barriers to access the arts. To this end, the organization generates exhibitions that represent a range of visual arts; publications that provide in-depth explorations of contemporary art; lectures and symposia that encourage debate and further understanding; interpretive tools that invite visitors to question, explore, and reflect upon their experiences; outreach initiatives for members of underserved communities; and programming that incorporates other areas of culture at their intersection with visual art.

To provide its visitors with ample opportunities to engage more deeply with exhibitions each season, TPP offers free public programming such as the long-running Sunday Scene series, artist talks, panel discussions, exhibition tours, art-making workshops for kids and families, film screenings, performances and expanded access programs. TPP also hosts unique and thought-provoking fundraising events including Power Ball and Face to Face.

The Power Plant believes in openness, inclusion, diversity, and respect for all—it is a community that thrives on this operating philosophy. Our audience is primarily grouped into four main segments—each touch point seeks to connect with one or more of the below audiences:
● Artists
● Donors
● Visitors
● Scholars, Researchers, Academics & Museum Arts Professionals

In addition to the above, The Power Plant has conducted extensive audience research to identify four main target groups, which can be shared with our chosen partner.

There are multiple audiences that will be accessing TPP’s website, for a variety of reasons. At a high-level, we have identified the following three audiences (in no particular order):

  1. Donor [Member or Non-Member]
    Who: Someone who donates to The Power Plant either as a whole or for specific exhibitions. This user understands who TPP is and is on the website to get the latest news and potentially browse previous exhibitions and learn about new programs. They will use the site semi-regularly. A custom portal would be of interest to them only if it was regularly updated with high-end content.

    User Objective: Seamless experience for exhibition/program viewing, donations, and archive viewing [TBC – more context in Section 6.]

  2. Arts Community Member
    Who: Someone who is an active member of the arts community locally or internationally. They come to browse the seasonal exhibitions, find events, reference the archive, shop, and explore ways to actively participate in the arts community.

    User Objective: Find the information and opportunities to support and engage with the arts community.

  3. Art Tourist/Families
    Who: Someone living in or visiting the GTA that is searching for local activities. They are interested in current exhibitions, how to get to TPP, and any other information that would encourage them to visit TPP (i.e., hours or special events).

    User Objective: Information seeking (see what’s on, how to find it and register for programs).


Our new website needs to provide a frictionless experience that mirrors the in-gallery experience visitors expect from The Power Plant. It should be/feature:

  • Easy to navigate

  • Aesthetically pleasing

  • Communicate all TPP programs and offerings

  • Seamless e-commerce (shop and donation) experiences

  • Act as an archive for our many programs and exhibitions (which are transient, not static collections)

  • Help to achieve the following business objectives:

    1. Increase visitation at The Power Plant and enrollment in programs and events o Increase donor program registrations by creating more reasons to join and support and bringing them to life in an easy to understand/navigate way on the website.
    2. Retain and attract high-end Members, transform our visitors into long-term donors.
    3. Increase Shop purchase conversions through a better e-commerce experience.


Our current website is outdated, cluttered, and not reflective of TPP's brand or offerings. Specifically, the following challenges have been highlighted by our team:

  • Cluttered navigation

  • No clear customer journey, CTAs, or information hierarchy

  • Programs and offerings are buried in the site

  • Outdated design and very text-heavy

  • Not mobile responsive

  • CMS is difficult to use, not up to date

  • Current POS system is not well integrated, making donations and shopping difficult to complete

  • Due to the volume of archive content, the load time is slow

Our new website should feel current and be easy to use both from an audience perspective and a backend CMS perspective. The following functionality is required:

  • Site is built with custom/easy-to-use templates for the content manager

  • Content design that is reflective of TPPs existing brand. It should be a beautiful experience that mimics how people feel on our site

  • Archive solution: Our digital archive of exhibitions is one of the most important legacies for TPP. As TPP is a non-collecting gallery we have both curated and travelling exhibitions and retain the usage rights in perpetuity. These digital assets (texts, images, video and audio files) are to be included in and form TPP's main archive.

  • Newsletter sign-up with preferences management and adherence to CASL and GDPR

  • SEO

  • E-commerce solution (for shop and donations)

  • Password-protected, easy to update area of the site specifically for high-level Donors

  • Events calendar

  • Notification banners to signal events/offers (ability to turn on/off)

  • Responsive site that is compatible with all devices/all browsers

  • Migration of existing web content to newly built site

  • AODA compliant, GDPR, and Cookie Laws

  • Search function

  • Google Analytics, SEP

  • Managed hosting, including intended use of CDN, including costs

Please include these functionality requirements in your response (noting elements that are out-of-scope). Ideally these elements are included in the current budget or can be included in subsequent phases if required.

  • User portal for Donors to access their accounts that will include: profile, preferences, messaging, seamless payment integration

  • Eventbrite integration for event listings and registrations

  • Integration of email marketing tool (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Twilio) so that we

    can send stylized newsletters easily

  • Tools that prompt user engagement, such as Proof

  • Eventual integration of multiple languages

  • Social media integration


Our total budget for this new website, inclusive of development and design is $65,000.00 CAD + HST.


  • Cover page

  • Table of contents

  • Executive summary: In 1,000 words or fewer, tell us why you’re the right partner for The Power Plant. Include your understanding of the project as well as any relevant experience and qualifications that address the needs outlined in this RFP. Comment on any areas that may make your organization different from competitors.
  • Organization profile: Please provide a brief overview of your organization, including the following:
  1. Main contact information
  2. History, number of years in business, relevant experience over the past three years 
  3. Company size, number of employees, employee bios of the team that would work on The Power Plant account 
  4. Bios of any external contractors to be engaged for this project and description of working relationship
  5. Services
  • Case studies: Please attach or provide links to three (3) relevant case studies, including:
  1. Client name
  2. Date and scope of project
  3. Services rendered
  4. Any additional pertinent information
  • Project approach and timing: Describe in detail how your organization would meet the stated objectives of the RFP. Include any exceptions you take with the outlined deliverables and structure, a detailed description of your proposed methodology including specific planning tasks to achieve each of the outlined objectives, how you plan to engage with stakeholders, a Project Management plan, and a timeline for project deliverables.

  • Technology: Please suggest appropriate platforms, hardware, and software for the project, explaining your selections in detail. Please also propose technical support and site maintenance solutions in detail.

  • Fees: Outline of how you would allocate the funds to the project, including;
    o Provide a total project fee for the proposed services (separate web development and design/content development)
    o Provide a project fee breakdown by phase for the proposed services
    o Outline billing and payment expectations, including timing and method of payment
    o All potential plug-ins or third-party services should be included in the budget to the best of our ability. Where this isn’t possible, please include a range or an explanation.
    o Please include cost associated with managed hosting
    o Please include cost associated with warranty and post-launch support, including what does and does not constitute something covered under the terms.
    o Please include an hourly rate or package rate for support and additional functionality

  • References: Please list three (3) relevant professional references. Non-profit/arts projects are preferred. Please include the following:
    o Name, address, website of client organization
    o Main contact’s name, phone number and email address
    o A brief description of the work provided for each
    o Start date and date of completion for each project
    Authorized signature (see below)

Additional Info:

Proposals will be evaluated by The Power Plant’s Director, Marketing & Communications Manager and select Board members. In-person interviews with selected candidates will be scheduled as part of the review and selection process. The successful Proponent will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated expertise and qualifications

  • Understanding of and ability to meet outlined objectives

  • Documented prior experience handling projects of similar scope, specifically with non-profit and arts organizations

  • Budget-consciousness and competitive pricing. The Power Plant is a registered non-profit that relies on the generous support of patrons, donors, and members. All pricing should be considerate of this, though the lowest budget is not the primary reason for selecting a bid proposal

    All proposals satisfying the requirements of this RFP will be evaluated to establish which of the providers best fulfills the needs of TPP and this project.


RFP issued

7 April 2021

Questions due

23 April 2021 at 5PM ET

RFP submissions due

7 May 2021 at 5PM ET

Interview notifications

21 May 2021

Interview sessions

Between 25 May and 4 June 2021



Contract review and signing


Site live

Ideally to launch 1 January 2022


  1. This RFP in no way commits TPP to award a contract, to pay any costs in preparation of a proposal, or to contract for the goods and/or services offered. TPP reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals received as a result of this request, to negotiate with all qualified providers, or to cancel this RFP.

  2. Any proposal may be withdrawn prior to the RFP opening time provided that the request is signed by the authorized representative. No proposal received after the time fixed for the RFP will be considered.

  3. The Power Plant reserves the right to seek supplemental information from any Proponent at any time between the dates of proposal submission and the RFP award. Such information will be limited to clarification or amplification of questions asked in the original proposal.

  4. All materials submitted regarding this RFP become the property of The Power Plant, within the context of the RFP. Any restrictions on the use of data contained within a proposal must be clearly stated in the proposal itself.

  5. Proponents must fully disclose, in writing, on or before the closing date of the RFP, any circumstances of any possible conflict of interest or what could be perceived as a possible conflict of interest if the Proponent were to become a contracting party pursuant to the RFP.

  6. All costs and expenses incurred by the Proponent related to the preparation of the proposal shall be borne by the Proponent. TPP is not liable to pay such costs and expenses or to reimburse or to compensate the Proponent under any circumstances.

  7. The Proponent must clearly and explicitly state whether the bidding entity is or is not a joint venture in accordance with the definition below: A joint venture is an association of two or more parties who combine their money, property, knowledge, skills, time or other resources in a joint business enterprise agreeing to share the profits and the losses and each having some degree of control over the enterprise. If the response to this RFP is made by a joint venture, the Proponent shall describe the precise nature of the joint venture. The Proponent must clearly and explicitly state any third party contracts that the Proponent intends to use throughout the contract if the Proponent were to become a contracting party to TPP pursuant to the RFP.



The undersigned adheres to the terms and conditions listed above.

___________________________________ Name:

How to Apply:

Deadline for Proposals: Friday, 7 May 2021, 5PM ET

Proponents must submit their proposal in a PDF format, adhering to all submission requirements, to Jaime Eisen, Marketing & Communications Manager, at Please include “Request for Proposal – Website Development” in the subject line.

Proposals must be received no later than Friday, 7 May 2021, at 5PM ET. Incomplete proposals will not be considered. 

All questions should be sent to by Friday, 23 April 2021 at 5PM ET. Responses will be issued within one (1) business day of receipt.

Please Note: 


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