Request for Proposals (RFP) for Strategic Planning Services


Manitoba Theatre for Young People (MTYP) seeks a consultant to guide the Board of Directors and staff in a strategic planning process to create a 3-year strategic plan to support the administrative and programmatic direction of the organization. The consultant will work with the Strategic Planning Working
Group, made up of members of the Board as well as senior staff to design and implement the strategic planning process. The consultant should have experience in working with non-profit organizations. Previous arts and cultural experience is considered a particular asset.

Who is MTYP?

Manitoba Theatre for Young People is the largest professional theatre company devoted to young audiences in Western Canada. Our home, at the Forks in Winnipeg, is a meeting place for people of many different backgrounds and trajectories, on Treaty 1 territory in the heart of the Métis nation. Our venue was built specifically for the development, production and presentation of work for young audiences, and features a 311 seat reconfigurable theatre, a rehearsal space that alternates as a secondary performance space, production areas, and four studios where arts enrichment experiences are offered through our Native Youth Theatre and Theatre School programs.

Under the artistic direction of Pablo Felices-Luna, MTYP is one of the most respected professional theatre companies in Canada for children or adults. In a typical year, MTYP reaches over 90,000 Manitobans through programming and activities, including mainstage shows and tours of shows produced by MTYP as well as national and international guest companies.

MTYP’s educational programs are an important aspect of our operations. The Theatre School offers classes year round for students age 3 – 19. One-time drama outreach workshops are also delivered to numerous schools, day cares, community groups and associations as well as providing day- or week-long residencies and multi-week satellite programs across our city and province. Native Youth Theatre provides free classes to Indigenous youth led by Indigenous artists and faculty.

Other key activity includes a creators unit that fosters the voices of a new generation of artists and annually supports new play development as well as use of our facility by range of arts and community groups and schools for a variety of uses.

MTYP is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of 12 members with a primary focus on strategic issues, governance and resource development. It normally meets 10 times per year, approves and monitors the annual budget and financial reports, and works alongside the General Manager and Artistic
Director to determine and oversee organizational strategy.

Led by the Artistic Director and General Manager, MTYP has a core staff of 19, including 8 seasonal positions. MTYP is further supported by numerous part-time staff and independent artists, contracted on a project or session basis, to deliver on its production, presentation, and educational programs.

Why Now?

MTYP has largely completed its previous strategic plan and those items that remain require reexamination and/or renewal. The context in which MTYP does its work, is also evolving due to changing expectations of funders, the public and the needs of children and youth. Since the previous strategic plan, key staff, as well as a few key members of the board, have changed. A strategic planning process is required to ensure the organization is well positioned to move forward together and with a clear, shared set of goals in the context of the impact of COVID on performing arts organizations generally and theatres

Goals of Strategic Planning

MTYP will work with the consultant to develop a plan that serves as a foundation for the company’s decision making and planning for the next 3 years. Key goals for this strategic planning process include:

  • Potential update of mission, vision and values
  • Answer key organizational questions
  • Identify priority areas for growth and development
  • Develop overall strategy for sustainable operations that maintains MTYP’s focus on serving youth through theatre
  • Create prioritized list of goals and strategies
  • Establish means to monitor, report on and review progress.

Scope of Consultant Work

The consultant will work with the MTYP Board Chair Valerie Shantz and Debra Zoerb, General Manager to craft and implement the strategic planning process. A Strategic Planning Working Group has been formed and will serve as an additional resource to the consultant.

The consultant will lead the organization in information gathering, self-assessment, consensus on plan objectives, and focusing on program and operational priorities. This will include working with the board and staff groups, including the MTYP management team.

The consultant will produce an achievable, consensus-driven 3-year strategic plan that is concrete, and easily communicated to our key stakeholders. It will include success metrics and a template for reporting on implementation. It will enable us to extend the life of the plan to a longer timeframe if deemed
appropriate in 2024.

If feasible, MTYP will launch its new strategic plan at its Annual General Meeting, late October 2021.

The consultant should have proven experience in working with a diverse set of stakeholders with a wide range of experiences in the strategic planning process. Given the context of COVID, consideration should be given to what elements of this process can be conducted using virtual or other non in-person means.

MTYP aspires to be a theatre where children and youth always see themselves reflected, whether it is on our stage, in our classrooms or in any of the spaces where our artistic and administrative activities take place. Accordingly, equity, diversity and inclusion are factored into all decisions at MTYP. We welcome
submissions from people of all identities, ethnicities and abilities.

Project Budget and Timeframe

The anticipated budget is $7,500 – $10,000. Work is expected to commence the week of May 24, 2021 or shortly thereafter. If feasible, MTYP will launch its new strategic plan at its Annual General Meeting, late October 2021.

Proposal Process and How to Submit

Complete proposals should be submitted by Friday, May 14, 2021. Proposers may be invited to a brief interview with the working group during the week of May 17, 2021.

Please submit a proposal that addresses:

  • Cover letter, resume and relevant examples of related work
  • Proposal including approach to the planning process, general proposed steps and timeline, deliverables, a detailed budget, a description of previous work in a similar context; and
  • References

Submissions should be forwarded for consideration via Debra Zoerb, General Manager at [email protected]

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