The ArQuives (formally the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives) acquires, preserves, protects and gives public access to information related to the LGBTQ2+ experience in Canada. Our goal is to be a significant resource and catalyst for those who strive for a future world where LGBTQ2+ people are accepted, valued, and celebrated.

Founded in 1973, The ArQuives is the largest LGBTQ2+ independent archive in the world and is recognized globally as a significant resource for LGBTQ2+ documentary heritage. Archival users from across Canada and around the world visit The ArQuives to conduct research for academic projects, journalistic work, documentary filmmaking and other creative productions. The ArQuives also offers remote services to hundreds of researchers who are unable to visit the archives in person.

Our collection includes personal and organizational records, vertical files, a photographic collection (20,000 plus), moving images, posters, audiotapes, cartographic and architectural plans, works of art, textiles, and artifacts (including t-shirts, buttons, matchbooks and banners). The LGBTQ2+ periodicals collection is the largest in the world (10,000 plus titles).

As trusted steward of vast holdings, The ArQuives has developed outreach programs that connect the public with the evidence needed to build a strong sense of identity and shared heritage for LGBTQ2+ Canadians. This includes Pride Walk, public lectures, class visits, conference presentations, tours of The ArQuives house and social media posts. We actively engage in partnering with other LGBTQ2+ agencies and archives to provide them with the research services and material content to support their management. We also provide valuable internship experience for undergraduate and graduate students to help foster the next generation of LGBTQ2+ historians and archivists.

The ArQuives is primarily a volunteer-run organization, with over 120 volunteers—some of whom have been volunteering for over 40 years. The ArQuives is run by the Executive Director and three paid staff members on limited-term contracts.

Project Summary

The ArQuives seeks proposals for a consultant to create a new website for the organisation as our current site does not meet our demands. The goal of the project is to increase the usability of our website, increase access to information surrounding programming and events, and to better interact with our existing platforms Omeka and Inmagic DB/Textworks.

Project Description

Using industry best practices, the selected consultant will design a new look and feel for The ArQuives website. The website will better support our organization and allow us to meet our mandate to acquire, preserve, and make accessible history of LGBTQ2+ communities of Canada. The new site must improve usability, be mobile-friendly, use open source software and tools, and follow accessibility guidelines set out by Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) . The new site must allow for eCommerce and for donations to be made to our organisation on site (using Canada Helps and Sumac). The site should meet best practices around search engine optimization, newsletter capabilities, an interactive events calendar or section, and allow for integration with various social media platforms. The site should allow for the structure and content to be bilingual and allow for easy modification and maintenance by staff and volunteers who may have limited technical knowledge.

The new redesign must align with our current brand and logo (style guide will be provided) and to our existing Omeka exhibition site and our Inmagic DB/Textworks database.

The ArQuives new website must allow for intuitive access to information to four primary audiences: LGBTQ2+ communities, researchers (both academic and general), potential collection donors, and monetary donors. Additionally, the following secondary audiences must be considered: the general public, educators (for example, teachers looking for resources/information), government (Federal, Provincial, and Municipal), and The ArQuives partner organisations.

After the completion of the development, The ArQuives will assume responsibility for content maintenance and day-to-day administration. All content, coding, and graphics will remain the sole property of The ArQuives. Vendors are not required to include fees for stock images in the design quote.

Project Scope + Deliverables


  1. Content audit of current website
  2. An inventory of needs/website functionality
  3. Proposed concept delivery
  4. Creation of a project plan/process/workflow/timeline
  5. Final presentation to the Board of Directors
  6. Training sessions for staff and volunteers and the creation of a manual


  1. Logo and colour scheme
  2. Email and cloud storage
  3. Exhibition platform
  4. Content database

The day-to-day work and decisions of the project will be overseen by The ArQuives Identity Committee made up of staff, volunteers, and board members. This committee will work with the chosen consultants. The chosen vendor should include a proposed workflow, including a change management process and approval for decisions and changes.

Proposal Guidelines

This Request for Proposal represents an open and competitive process. Any questions about the RFP can be sent to The ArQuives Executive Director until September 27, 2019 @ 16:30 EST. Proposals will be accepted until 16:30 EST October 4, 2019. Any proposals received after this date and time will not be considered. All proposals must be submitted electronically to the Executive Director.

All costs in the proposal must be all-inclusive and include any outsourcing and contracts. Any proposal that calls for outsourcing or contracting must include information of the third parties in the description and budget.

A proposer may withdraw their application in writing at any time before the closing date and time. The ArQuives may not necessarily accept the lowest priced proposal. Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the proposal. Proposals must be signed by an employee who is authorized to bid on behalf of the company.

RFP Timeline

Project Timeline + Deliverables


All proposals must include proposed costs to complete the tasks described in the project scope. Costs should be described as ‘one-time’ or ‘non-recurring’ costs or ‘recurring costs.’

Bidder Qualifications

The bidder should include how they meet the following qualifications as part of their proposal package:

  1. Knowledge and/or experience working with the Canadian LGBTQ2+ community
  2. Experience working with marketers and fundraising
  3. Experience working with social movements and/or not-for-profits
  4. Experience with anti-oppression, anti-racist, and de-colonial work

All proposals will be evaluated on their overall merit, as set out in the criteria below. The ArQuives particularly encourages applications from those who identify as members of bisexual, trans, Francophone, minority language, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour communities.

Proposal Evaluation

The proposal will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Overall proposal suitability
  2. Organizational experience
  3. Relevant experience
  4. Value and cost

Disqualification of Proposal

The ArQuives may disqualify a proposal at any time in the RFP process if one or more of the following events occur:

  1. The proposal includes incorrect information or is incomplete.
  2. The proposer misrepresents themselves in any way.
  3. The proposer fails to cooperate with The ArQuives.

Submit your proposal by October 4, 2019 @16:30 EST to:

Raegan Swanson
Executive Director