Request for Proposals: 2021 Annual TON Symposium

This Request for Proposal (RFP) is an invitation to prospective consultants to submit proposals for the requirements and deliverables described below.

Download the full Request for Proposals: 2021 Annual TON Symposium


OHRN is seeking a consultant to help produce an annual Symposium for a network of harm reduction outreach workers from across Ontario. The Outreach Network (TON) Symposium is typically held in person, but all programming will be virtual this year.

Project Name: 2021 Annual TON Symposium
Organization: Ontario Harm Reduction Network (OHRN), a program of Fife House Foundation
Address: 490 Sherbourne St, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4X 1K9
Contact Name: Nick Boyce, Director, OHRN
Contact email:


Posting Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Closing Date: Monday, August 09, 2021
Final Selection: Monday, August 16, 2021
Expected Start: September 2021
Completion deadline: February 2022


The Ontario Harm Reduction Network (OHRN) supports harm reduction efforts in Ontario by providing training, networking opportunities, and consultations to service providers and agencies. We bring together harm reduction workers from across the province through The Outreach Network. OHRN is funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health. Find our Vision, Mission, and Values on our website.

OHRN coordinates The Outreach Network (TON). TON members are front-line harm reduction workers from across the province. They share challenges, solutions, and practices with each other, while OHRN collects and shares resources with TON members to be used and adapted.

Annual TON Symposium

OHRN coordinates the Annual TON Symposium. It is typically held in person. In the past, 1-3 representatives from each of the 50 TON agencies (60-70 TON members) would meet in Toronto for two days.

The Symposium is a mix of:

  • Training: skills development, learning and sharing of information, and capacity building
  • Networking: building solidarity among TON members
  • Knowledge Exchange: sharing of experiences, insights, and resources among members

In 2020, because of COVID-19, we cancelled the Symposium and instead TON members could complete Indigenous Cultural Safety Training and workshops around grief, loss, and resilience. Both were offered by external organizations or facilitators. This year, we are going to offer original programming again. However, since it cannot be in-person, this will be the first time we are holding the Symposium online.

Agendas for previous Symposiums are included in the full Request for Proposals: 2021 Annual TON Symposium.

Project Goals

OHRN is seeking a consultant to program and produce the 2021 Annual TON Symposium in collaboration with OHRN staff and TON members. OHRN typically uses Zoom to meet online but is open to other platforms and ways of connecting.

We have a Symposium advisory group of TON members, which has met once. At that meeting, the following points were agreed upon:

  • Events are to be a maximum of 2-3 hours at a time
  • A mix of online interaction and offline/material components
  • There should be some FUN
  • Content should be a mix of:
    • covering the basics of harm reduction work
    • discussions on issues for which there are no set best practices are clear answers
    • niche topics of interest
    • Indigenous, Black, or BIPOC only spaces
  • We can think outside the box and approach topics from unique angles

We want to structure the Symposium so that it is engaging and captures the most essential aspects of the in-person Symposium. It needs to be shaped by TON members, for TON members.

Scope of Services

We seek a consultant who can produce the following Key Deliverables:

  • An inclusive and collaborative planning process which forefronts the needs and perspectives of TON members, which will likely include:
    • Conducting a series of consultations with the Symposium advisory group
    • Other community consultation methods you identify as effective in this context
    • Regular meetings with OHRN staff
  • A detailed project plan and schedule
  • A series of blended learning/ KTE/ social events which are accessible to different styles of learning and accessibility needs
  • Evaluation strategy that measures quantitative and qualitative success indicators
  • Final Project Report summarizing the process, outcomes, and recommendations to inform future Symposiums

Elements of Proposal

We invite you to submit a proposal that includes:

  • Description of your organization or services, examples of relevant work and experience, and the ways your practice aligns with OHRN values
  • One-page narrative outlining your approach to collaborative planning and accessible online engagement
  • Fee estimate – we have a flexible budget and invite you to submit a range of options

People who use drugs and who are members of BIPOC communities are strongly encouraged to apply and invited to self-identify in their proposal submission.

Evaluation Criteria

The successful respondent will demonstrate:

  • Project management, oral and written communication, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with group facilitation, community consultation, collaborative planning, and adult learning
  • Experience and commitment to working with people who use drugs, or other communities made marginalized by society
  • Recent experience with online programming

How to Submit a Proposal

Please submit your proposal to Nick Boyce, Director, OHRN, by email to by Monday, August 09, 2021. Please include “RFP 2021 Symposium” in the subject line.

Download the full Request for Proposals: 2021 Annual TON Symposium.