Request for Proposal: A Building for the Literary Arts in Vancouver

The Association of Book Publishers of BC in partnership with book publisher Arsenal Pulp Press and online magazine publisher The Tyee is seeking proposals from interested consultants to undertake a study to determine the feasibility and parameters of creating a building for the literary arts in Vancouver. 

Literary organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable office and warehouse space in Vancouver in today’s expensive rental market. For the same reason, there is a lack of spaces for readings and literary events, and fewer bookstores to showcase books, magazines and authors. Feedback reveals there is a great interest in local work, as well as a desire for a community in which ideas may be exchanged and services shared. 


The goal is to provide an operating base for organizations in the literary community and a hub where members of the community and the public may gather. The building will include office and warehouse space, and possibly meeting rooms, a space for public readings and story telling, and a bookstore. It could include an education and/or literacy component and programming for ethnic and First Nations communities. There may also be opportunities for the use of new technologies and synergies with other creative industries. In sum, the vision is of a building that is broadly accessible and diverse in its reach. 

To the end of exploring the feasibility for such a space, the above-mentioned partnership applied for and was successful in obtaining a Cultural Infrastructure Grant from the City of Vancouver to undertake a study as a first stage in this process.


The scope of the feasibility study should be broad and open-minded. Ideas have been discussed, but no preconceptions. Consultations should be conducted with identified stakeholders as well as those parties who have expressed interest in joining the project. Other consultations may include real estate developers, the City of Vancouver Cultural Facilities staff, and representatives of other organizations (possibly in other cities) who have been involved in similar joint building requests.

Proposals should outline the consultant’s plan of action; feasibility study components including but not limited to a needs assessment, models, and governance; timeline; qualifications and all cost estimates and applicable taxes.

Submission requirements

The consultant should have a working knowledge of cultural and/or socially responsible organizations both for and not-for-profit. The consultant should be familiar with housing issues in these sectors.

The feasibility study is deliverable four months from start date of January 15.

The deadline for submissions is December 20, 2012

Submissions should be made to:
Margaret Reynolds
Executive Director, Association of Book Publishers of BC
600-402 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1T6

or by email at


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