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Request for proposals from Canadian Conservators

The City of Calgary is seeking an experienced and qualified conservator to implement a conservation and maintenance plan. This is an exciting opportunity to work as part of a team dedicated to ensuring the lifelong care and conservation of artworks in the City of Calgary’s Public Art Collection. This includes, but is not limited to, aspects of preventative conservation, conservation treatments, and collections management. Strong organization, communication, problem solving, project management skills are needed for this role, and an adherence to the Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property (CAC/ACCR) Code of Ethics will guide your work and your contribution to the Collections team.

Budget: $65K CND plus GST
Deadline: 4:30 p.m. MST on Friday, November 23, 2018
Schedule: Eight month contract starting in December 2018

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The successful proponent will be required to sign the Contract Letter.

Project Background

What’s in the Collection
The City of Calgary has an art collection of over 1,300 works, including a fine art collection (photographs, paintings, sculpture, glass, installations, ceramic, textiles) that is rotated throughout public spaces, outdoor sculptures sited in parks and plazas, installations integrated into infrastructure, monuments, memorials, environmental art, temporary projects, street art and functional objects.

Current Condition of the Collection
In the fall of 2016, conservation consultants were contracted to carry out an assessment of the City of Calgary’s Public Art Collection, and develop a multi-year conservation plan including recommendations for treatment, care and handling, exhibition guidelines, and maintenance procedures for the collection, as well as facility and overall storage conditions.

The assessment reported 35 per cent of the collection to be in Excellent condition, 45 per cent to be in Good condition, 16 per cent to be in Fair condition, 4 per cent to be in Poor condition, and 0.7 per cent to be in Critical condition. While the percentage of artworks in Poor and Critical condition makes up a small proportion of the collection, they nevertheless represent over 51 artworks that require immediate attention.

In addition, the assessment outlined areas where the environment and management of the City’s storage facility could be improved. This included a review of environmental conditions in the space as well as recommendations for improved equipment and protocols for monitoring.

The recommendations include the implementation of an emergency preparedness plan and a risk management strategy, improved condition tracking methods for artworks on loan, risk evaluations for new acquisitions, outdoor artwork maintenance strategies, as well as better standardized procedures for documentation and conservation records.

The implementation of the conservation recommendations outlined in the assessment report requires a conservation professional dedicated to the preservation of the collection and ensuring that industry standards of practice, materials, ethics, and documentation are being followed.


The City of Calgary Public Art Program seeks a conservator to review the conservation and maintenance needs of the Public Art Collection based on an existing condition assessment report and develop strategies for the conservation and maintenance for the Collection. As required, the conservator will be involved in preventative conservation and implement maintenance and conservation treatment work.

Disbursements will be made throughout the project as per a negotiated schedule of deliverables. All work to be performed in Calgary.

Qualification Requirements

  • Master’s degree in conservation from a recognized university;
  • Minimum of 3 years’ relevant experience working with mixed collections;
  • Minimum of 3 years’ relevant experience in project coordination/management including determining timelines, adherence to budgets, contract administration, and logistics;
  • A valid Class 5 driver’s license and access to a vehicle is required;
  • General understanding of public art materials, design, engineering, and installation processes with the ability to research and test materials, and to make recommendations on findings;
  • General understanding of how to read architectural and fabrication shop drawings;
  • Knowledgeable and safe use and operation of hand tools, power tools and conservation specific equipment;
  • Proven ability to prioritize, manage and complete concurrent projects;
  • Ability to manage various stakeholder relationships including but not limited to: City of Calgary employees and agents, technicians, contractors and artists;
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • Demonstrated research skills;
  • Fall arrest training and WHMIS;
  • Strong working knowledge of MS Office;


  • Appreciation of and experience working with the region’s Indigenous and culturally diverse communities is a definite asset;
  • Understanding of local art history with a keen appreciation for Calgary’s public art collection, and knowledge of and interest in temporary art forms is an asset;
  • Knowledge of PastPerfect software is an asset;
  • Proficiency in a language other than English is an asset;
  • Aerial platform training and first aid is an asset;
  • Membership in a recognized conservation/preservation organization is an asset.

Submission Requirements

Any submission not received by the closing date and time will not be considered.

Submissions must contain:

  1. A current CV with contact information;
  2. Letter of interest detailing your experience with mixed public art collections;
  3. Applicable examples of your work in related areas;
  4. Provide three (3) current references. References should include company name, current contact name including current telephone number, address and e-mail address.

The City reserves the right to contact references without prior notification. References from City of Calgary staff members will not be counted as part of the required references.

Submission Process

Submissions can be sent via email or hard copy.

Digital submissions should be in Word or PDF format and emailed to with Public Art Conservator RFP in the subject line. Complete submission package must be smaller than 10MB.

Hard copy submissions can be delivered to:

Holy Angels Civic Building - RECEPTION
Attn: Public Art Conservator RFP
2105 Cliff Street SW
Calgary, Alberta, T2S 2G4

Or mailed to:

Box 2100, Station M, #63, Calgary, AB Canada T2P 2M5

Evaluation Matrix

The conservator will be selected based on qualifications, references, interviews and as per the table below:


​Evaluation Criteria ​Weight ​Rating ​Score
​Letter of Interest ​25
​Qualifications ​20
​Demonstrate Excellence of Past Work in Related Areas ​30
​Ability to Meet Project Goals and Objectives ​25

Proposals will be evaluated and ranked according to the outline below. The evaluation will be based on a 0 to 10 scale.


​Rating ​Description
​10 ​Exceeds expectations; Proponent clearly understands the requirement, excellent probability of success.
​8 ​Somewhat exceeds expectations; high probability of success
​6 ​Meets expectations; Proponent has good understanding of requirement, good probability of success.
​4 ​Somewhat meets expectations; minor weakness or deficiencies, fair probability of success.
​2 ​Does not meet expectations or demonstrate understanding of the requirements, low probability of success.
​0 ​Lack of response or complete misunderstanding of the requirements, no probability of success.

Working with The City

Private Individuals
To comply with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requirements, regarding employee/employer concerns and issues, this is to advise that it is a policy of The City not to enter into contracts with individuals. To be considered for this project, you must already operate under a business name, or be willing to establish a business name.

The City requires the successful proponent’s WCB clearance certificate and insurance prior to the start of any work. Both of which must remain in good standing until the completion of the project. These documents are to be sent to The City project manager’s attention.

The Contractor hereby agrees to put in effect and maintain insurance for the Term, at their own expense, in a form that is satisfactory to The City and with insurers allowed by the laws of the Province of Alberta to issue insurance policies in Alberta, the following insurance policies:

  1. A commercial general liability insurance policy for bodily injury (including death) and property damage in an amount of not less than five million dollars ($5,000,000.00) inclusive limit for any one occurrence and such policy must include:
    1. The City as an additional insured;
    2. A cross liability clause;
    3. Contractual liability coverage; and
    4. A non-owned automobile liability clause;
  2. If the Contractor is providing professional services, a professional liability insurance policy for damages arising out of errors, omissions, or negligent acts by or on behalf of the Contractor in providing professional services under this Agreement, such insurance policy to be in an amount of not less than FIVE MILLION DOLLARS ($5,000,000.00) for any one claim, and in the annual aggregate, or such other amount as agreed to by The City and the Contractor and confirmed in writing, and such insurance must remain in operation for at least twelve (12) months after termination of the Agreement; and
  3. A provision for The City to be given thirty (30) days written notice prior to cancellation, and thirty (30) days prior notice of any material change requested by the Supplier of the insurance policies.

  4. The Contractor will be responsible for all deductibles that may apply in any of the required insurance policies.

    The Contractor covenants and agrees that The City's insurance requirements will not be construed to and will not, in any manner, limit or restrict the liability of the Contractor.

Proponent Performance
The successful contractor may be evaluated throughout the course of the project. Any evaluation will be shared with the contractor, with the goal of immediate and permanent resolution to problems and concerns. The City reserves the right to terminate the contract if it is deemed that mutually agreeable remedies cannot be reached.

Cancellation and The City’s Right to Terminate a Contract
The City may, at any time during the term of a contract, upon giving 30 days’ notice to the successful proponent, terminate a contract if The City is of the opinion that the services supplied by the proponent are not of a standard satisfactory to The City or that the proponent no longer has the financial capability to perform obligations under the contract. Further, The City in its sole discretion may terminate the agreement for reasons including but not limited to unethical or criminal activities immediately upon written notice.

Questions and Clarifications

All requests for clarification and questions regarding this call must be submitted in writing only via email to All clarification and questions must be received no later than 72 hours prior to the submission deadline. Although every attempt will be made, The City cannot guarantee that questions received beyond this time period will be answered prior to the submission deadline.