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TIFA Blog

Free Activities to Explore at #MotiveTO

Published on June 2, 2022

Picture of the MOTIVE ad on the North Wall at Harbourfront Centre

If you are looking to make the most of the recent summer weather, be sure to drop by MOTIVE Crime and Mystery Festival, presented by Kobo Plus, this weekend! The Toronto International Festival of Authors will be taking over Harbourfront Centre’s waterfront campus with free outdoor activities for mystery fans of all ages.

From thought-provoking discussions to riveting readings, there will be a lot going on Saturday and Sunday. Below is a rundown of the wonder and mystery to expect at the beautiful lakeside location.


Kobo Cabana Reading Lounge

Be sure to visit our friends at the Kobo Cabana Reading Lounge! The welcoming space will have a charging station, comfy couches and some delicious treats. It’s the perfect place to relax, get book recommendations and chat with other crime and mystery fans.

West Lawn – Saturday, June 4 at 11am – 7pm

West Lawn – Sunday, June 5 at 11am – 7pm

Pitch Perfect

Join writers Alan Brand, Bruce Madole, Scott McKinnon and Hope Thompson as they pitch book ideas to a panel of publishing industry experts. Pitching may sound like a stressful process, but it’s all in good fun. After their pitches, the judges will provide constructive, positive feedback on the writers’ ideas. The event will take place inside Harbourfront Centre. Tickets are free with registration.

Main Loft – Sunday, June 5 at 6:30pm

Critical Conversations: Ethics of Crime Writing

At the outdoor stage on Harbourfront’s west lawn, authors Marcie Rendon, Beverley McLachlin and Ryan Gattis will explore the nuances and ethical implications of how crime, criminals and police are represented in the genre. In conversation with Robert Rotenberg, they will discuss their writing choices, as well as their ongoing work to better the criminal justice system. The Critical Conversation series is presented in partnership with the Provocation Ideas Festival.

Outdoor Stage – Saturday, June 4 at 2pm

Meet Me in the Yard: Audio Installation

As you enter MOTIVE’s hub of outdoor activities, an interactive audio installation will you greet you. Take a snapshot of the QR codes to hear different experiences of incarceration. There are a total of five stories being shared, so be sure to explore the entire space. Presented by Trophy, in partnership with Provocation Ideas Festival.

North Orchard – Saturday, June 4 at 1–6pm

TIFA Kids & Family Fun

The TIFA Kids & Family tent will have fun for the whole family! There will be board games, colouring and other free activities to enjoy all weekend long.

Outdoor Tent – Saturday, June 4 at 11am – 7pm

Outdoor Tent – Sunday, June 5 at 11am – 7pm

Crime Writers of Canada Book Signings & Readings

The Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) is joining MOTIVE with free readings and book signings. See authors like James Arnett, Nate Hendley, O’Cinneide, Robert Rotenberg, Lynne Murphy, Dianne Scott and many more throughout the weekend as they read from their books on the outdoor stage. Afterward, head to the CWC tent to meet authors from all over Canada.

Check out their weekend lineup:

Book Signings at the Outdoor Tent – Saturday, June 4 at 11am – 7pm

Readings on the Outdoor Stage – Saturday, June 4 at 6pm

Book Signings at the Outdoor Tent – Sunday, June 5 at 11am – 7pm

Readings on the Outdoor Stage – Sunday, June 5 at 2pm

Toronto Crime Tours

Drop in to hear the true crime stories of Toronto’s past! Presented by Toronto Crime Tours, theirs are the only crime tours in Canada hosted by retired Detectives. Hear stories that are both fascinating and frightening like the Clowns vs. Firefighters Riot of 1855, the tragic case of the Shoeshine Boy and the notorious Boyd Gang. No walking or registration required.

Outdoor Tent – Saturday, June 4 at 1pm – 6 pm

Outdoor Tent – Sunday, June 5 at 1pm – 6 pm

Indigo Bookstore

While the books may not be free, browsing them sure is! Explore Indigo’s Bookstore in the Marilyn Brewer Community Space inside Harbourfront Centre all weekend. From cozy mysteries to chilling thrillers, true crime to police procedurals, the bookstore will be stocked with all the must reads in crime and mystery.

Marilyn Brewer Community Space – Friday, June 3 at 4–9:30pm

Marilyn Brewer Community Space – Saturday, June 4 at 10am – 9pm

Marilyn Brewer Community Space – Sunday, June 5 at 10am – 9pm

Ask the Expert

Two crime-writing experts will be on the outdoor MOTIVE stage to discuss the latest trends in the genre. On Saturday, New York Times journalist and crime fiction expert Sarah Weinman will be chatting about all things true crime. Then on Sunday, Globe & Mail crime fiction reviewer, Margaret Cannon, will be taking a look at the crime genre through a Canadian lens. Don’t miss these great conversations!

Ask the Expert: Sarah Weinman – Saturday, June 4 at 3:30pm

Ask the Expert: Margaret Cannon – Sunday, June 5 at 3:30pm


Want to see the full schedule? Check it out here.

Picture of the MOTIVE ad on the North Wall at Harbourfront Centre

TIFA Blog

Free Activities to Explore at #MotiveTO

Published on June 2, 2022

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