Lougheed House - Request for Proposals

Date: Mar 5, 2018

It is an exciting time to join Lougheed House as we continue grow as a cultural hub for Calgary and our Beltline community. We are evolving our organization and are looking for individuals interested in being a part of this journey.

Lougheed House was built in 1891 and is a Provincial and National Historic Site. Designed by Ottawa architect James R. Bowes for Senator James and Isabella Lougheed, it is one of the earliest surviving mansions of its kind on the Canadian prairies today. Located in the Beltline district of Calgary amid several acres of heritage gardens and green space, the House is also an accredited museum and significant Calgary landmark. It features a regular exhibition program, and hosts events, tours, and learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. Please visit our website for more information: www.lougheedhouse.com.

Calgary is evolving culturally.  Lougheed House exhibitions currently reflect a singular historical perspective.  We must be inclusive; reflect diverse histories. With community participation, we will produce an engagement framework, and exhibition plan, ensuring community collaboration is integral to exhibit/program development.  


Since it opened in 2007, Lougheed House Historic Site, which includes a museum collection, has focused its exhibitions and visitor experience on the early history of the House. With minimal involvement from the local community in exhibitions development, it does not reflect Calgary’s diverse histories, nor has it kept pace with new ways of engaging community to ensure meaningful and accessible experiences which interpret the past. To understand who we serve & community needs, we conducted an in-depth survey on our potential as a place of community dialogue. We piloted partnerships and learned the community wants to be involved in telling its own stories at LH through exhibitions development, and in response to the history of this place. We identified elements of the visitor experience which require significant improvement to reflect community perspectives and diverse histories.


To evolve Lougheed House to truly be a place of community dialogue, where contemporary challenges are reflected through local experiences and histories. We will consistently place community collaboration at the center of programming and exhibitions development. To do this, we need to build a community engagement framework and plan for a new permanent exhibition space (our second floor), informed by our connection to the past while including diverse voices and reflecting alternative histories.

  1. The Project Consultant will develop a Community Engagement Framework that is a useful and practical tool which the organization can use to develop future programs and exhibitions.  The Project Consultant will work closely with staff and a variety of stakeholders and community groups to develop the framework.  The consultant will collaborate with staff to determine who will be a part of the framework’s development and will use different strategies to engage with community partners and to ensure that they are fully a part of the development of the framework. 
  2. The Project Consultant will develop an Exhibition Development Plan (including an interpretive plan) based on the methodology created for the Community Engagement Framework.  This plan will most likely cover the following subjects*:  1) Early history of the Hardisty family, Indigenous experiences, the social history of Calgary, the Fur Trade, Canada and the Prairies at a time of profound change;  2) Calgary develops (late 19th/early 20th), building of the House and the growth of the Lougheed family, what it represents in the context of the growth of the West; 3) Personal histories of people connected to the House:  family, staff, guests and visitors; and 4) The end of one era and the beginning of a new one for the life of the House (later occupants including the Dominion Youth Provincial Training Program, Canadian Women’s Army Corps, the Red Cross).

*Please note however that these topics are subject to change and will likely evolve as we work through the community engagement phase.


  1. Completion of Research
    1. Best practices, current research on similar projects (historic houses which are sites and museums)
    2. Identify Community Partners
    3. Identify at least 3 examples of Community Engagement Models that may work
    4. Identify potential funding streams for second phase of project
  2. Community Engagement Framework
    1. Work with staff to identify volunteer/board/staff groups for engagement, as well as the community groups to represent community partners
    2. Work with communities to determine areas, topics for engagement.
    3. Develop initiatives (surveys, workshops, informal gatherings, meetings, etc.) to create dialogue, grow ideas around, and then gather information based on the determined area of engagement.
    4. Produce the model for Community Engagement Framework for future use
    5. This Framework will be developed with the topics/concepts to be used in the 2nd floor Exhibition Development Plan and will also have application for future use in programs and exhibits development.
  3. Exhibit Plan and Interpretation Plan
    1. Utilizing the Engagement Framework and working with staff, research and finalize major topic areas of the exhibition
    2. Continue to work with community members to develop the Interpretation Plan
    3. Finalize an exhibition development and interpretation plan in collaboration with the LH team.
    4. The plan will include draft layouts of each room, including proposed furniture and case placement, proposed object and image lists, in relation to the Interpretation Plan.

Consultant (fee is inclusive of travel expenses): $20,000-25,000

Internal Lougheed House budget for costs associated with communication and marketing, workshop materials, community participation, honoraria, exhibit plan testing, etc.: $12,000-15,000

Complete hiring of vendor for project: March 31, 2018
Identify and confirm community partners: May 31, 2018

Research Phase: Complete survey of best practices for engagement and exhibit plan; Identify potential community engagement models; Identify potential funding streams: May 31, 2018

Community Engagement Phase: Develop initiatives for engagement; hold workshops, town halls, etc. based on community engagement model; Develop final community engagement framework: August 31, 2018

Exhibit Planning Phase: Research and finalize main thematic topics; Develop interpretive plan; Develop initial exhibit plan: November 30, 2018
Report to Community: January 31, 2019
Project Evaluation: February 28, 2019

Describe in detail your proposal to address the requirements outlined in this RFP, including details such as technologies to be used; potential sources of moveable casework, exhibit fixtures, and lighting solutions; and a plan to address inclusive design and accessibility.

Provide a timeline for the completion of this proposal based on the timeline above (some flexibility is allowed but final project evaluation date is fixed); if you will carry out this project using a multi-phase approach please provide approximate timeframes.

Describe the fee structure and a proposal for a payment schedule. Provide a breakdown of costs associated with both the consultant fee (inclusive of all travel expenses) and a proposal for how the internal funds will be allocated. The Lougheed House internal funds are available to support the development of all phases of the project. Final fund allocation will be determined by Lougheed House in consultation with the successful vendor. The internal costs involved may be categorized separately as communication and marketing, workshop materials, community participation, honoraria, exhibit plan testing, etc. All budgets and timelines are subject to Lougheed House final approval.

Provide a brief history and profile of your business and experience delivering services for organizations similar to Lougheed House. Provide examples of your past clients comparable to our organization; include contact name, telephone number, services provided and length of service. Provide examples of your experience working with historic sites, museums, or heritage organizations.

Describe the project process and methodology including sample deliverables from past projects of similar size and scope. Document examples of your experience in designing/developing each of the project requirements. Include information on which community engagement models you have used in the past.

If you will be working with a team, list the members, and provide short biographies for each. If using freelancers or outside resources, please indicate them as such; we reserve the right to approve or disapprove of selected resources.

Please note that Lougheed House is a National and Provincial Historic Site therefore there are restrictions on how the physical structure of the house can be used and modified. Please keep this in mind as you develop your proposal.

Rights for all materials produced as part of the project will be held by Lougheed House Conservation Society.


Kirstin Evenden, Executive Director, ext. 108
Lougheed House Conservation Society
707 13th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0K8
(403) 244-6333

If you have any questions about the project, or would like a tour of the House in advance of submitting a proposal, please contact one of the team members:

Amanda Foote, Visitor Experience Coordinator, afoote@lougheedhouse.com, ext. 101
Caroline Loewen, Curator, cloewen@lougheedhouse.com, ext. 109