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In-Person Events

When is the Festival?

The 2nd Edition of the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival will take place June 2–4, 2023. You can browse the full schedule of events here.

The 44th Edition of TIFA, Canada’s largest and longest-running festival of words and ideas, will take place September 21 – October 1, 2023.

Where is the Festival held?

MOTIVE and TIFA take place at Harbourfront Centre. For specific venue locations, please review each event’s dedicated webpage. Learn more about getting to Harbourfront Centre here.

Plot twist! Please be advised that Harbourfront Centre’s main building is undergoing renovations. As a result, the travel distances between venues may be slightly longer than usual. The building still remains accessible through elevators and ramps, and portable restrooms have been added to the campus. Please plan accordingly, and know that volunteers will be on hand to assist with any questions. Like a well-written mystery, the building’s final reveal will be worth the wait – we promise!

Where do I purchase tickets for the Festival? 

 You can browse the full schedule of MOTIVE Crime & Mystery events here. The programme for the 44th Edition of TIFA will be announced this summer.

To purchase tickets for events online, browse the online box office here. Alternatively, you can contact Harbourfront Centre’s box office at 416-973-4000 (select option #1) or tickets@harbourfrontcentre.com for help purchasing tickets

Are there any discounts for book clubs? 

Yes! Book Clubs can save 25% on ticket prices when booking five or more tickets to the same event, by calling the Harbourfront Centre Box Office 416-973-4000 (choose option 1).

How can I buy the book?

The Festival’s official booksellers are Indigo and Rakuten Kobo. E-books and audiobooks can be purchased from Kobo, and paperbacks or hardcovers can be purchased from Indigo. Browse the full MOTIVE 2023 Festival reading list here.

The MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival pop-up bookstore will be open 12pm to 10pm on June 2–4, 2023. The bookstore will be located in Harbourfront Centre’s shop, located on the north-east corner of the building.

Will there be book signings?

Yes! Most authors will be signing books immediately after their scheduled events. Book signings will take place in the Marilyn Brewer Community Space with a few exceptions: Newfoundland Noir with Perry Chafe (Lakeside Terrace); The Twist of a Knife with Anthony Horowitz (Harbourfront Centre Theatre); and Central Park West with James Comey (Harbourfront Centre Theatre). Book signings are free to attend.

Is there somewhere I can purchase food during the Festival?

The Bays Café, located in Harbourfront Centre’s west bays, will be open 12–7pm on Saturday and Sunday. Non-alcoholic drinks and light food options will be available for purchase.

Boxcar Social’s Harbourfront location will be open with food and drinks for purchase:

Friday: 9am – midnight (closed 3–7pm for a private event)
Saturday: 9am – midnight
Sunday: 9am – 10pm

Harbourfront Centre is also located near many other restaurants and grocery stores where you can grab a bite to eat.

How will my visit be impacted by COVID-19?

Following Ontario provincial health guidelines, Harbourfront Centre has modified its restrictions at its campus and venues. They are as follows:

  • As of May 2, 2022, visitors to Harbourfront Centre’s campus and venues will no longer be required to wear a mask; however, we strongly recommend doing so.
  • Harbourfront Centre will no longer be checking proof of vaccination for the public, but the mandatory vaccination policy for staff, contractors, artists and volunteers continues to be in effect.
  • Health and safety precautions, including enhanced cleaning routines, remain in place, and we ask that any visitors who feel unwell to please postpone their visit.

For more health and safety information, click here.

I can’t make it to events in person, can I watch the live events from home?

No. At this time, the events taking place live and in person will not be available to view digitally unless otherwise noted on the event page. 

I purchased tickets to an event, but never received the ticket in my email!

A MOTIVE Pass is your ticket to explore as much of the Festival as you wish. Passes will be available for pick up once the Festival begins (June 2) at the MOTIVE Information Desk inside the Harbourfront Centre Artport (235 Queens Quay W, Toronto). You will not receive a digital pass. 

If you purchased a ticket to masterclasses or premium events, you will be emailed a digital ticket shortly after your confirmation email. If you have not received your digital ticket, please email tickets@harbourfrontcentre.com with your booking information, and a member of the Harbourfront Centre box office will re-issue your tickets. If you haven’t received the tickets by the day of the event, please visit the box office onsite to seek further assistance.

Outdoor activities, virtual events and visits to the Indigo Bookstore are free (no pass or tickets required)!

Questions? Call the Harbourfront Box Office at 416-973-4000.

What is TIFA’s refund policy?

Please note that ticket sales are final and non-refundable unless an event is cancelled or postponed. In these rare circumstances, ticket-holders will be notified by phone or email of the event cancellation or postponement and a refund for the ticket(s) purchased will be issued. A notice will also be posted on the website and at the venue.

Questions about ticket purchases can be directed to tickets@harbourfrontcentre.com.

Digital Events

How do I sign up to access digital events?

Starting in 2023, TIFA virtual events will no longer require you to register and log in to your account to watch them. All you need to do is return to the event page at the time of the event to watch the video.

Please check individual event pages for details whether an event will be available to watch digitally.

Oops – I missed my digital event’s start time!

Events that take place on Zoom, or that are produced by third-party partners, are only available to view live.

Events taking place on festivalofauthors.ca will list a closing date and time of which the video will no longer be available to watch. You can watch the video at any time between the listed event date and time and that closing date and time.

Do I need to sign up and register in order to watch digital events?

Starting in 2023, TIFA virtual events taking place on festivalofauthors.ca will no longer require you to register and log in to your account to watch them. For events taking place on Zoom, you will need to follow the instructions on the event page to register to watch online.

Help! I can’t access my digital event!

If you are trying to access digital events on festivalofauthors.ca, be sure you have returned to the correct event page after the scheduled date and time. The video will appear automatically above the event description.

If you are still experiencing issues, the support team at support@festivalofauthors.ca. is on standby to assist you, Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 5pm ET, plus during events.

My digital event doesn’t seem to be playing…

Once the virtual event hits the scheduled date and time, the digital event should automatically begin playing in the video window. If an event is delayed, we will let you know by posting a message on the page. If you think the event has started, but your video hasn’t begun to play, try refreshing your webpage (some web browsers require this step).

If the event takes place on Zoom or another platform, the support team at support@festivalofauthors.ca. is on standby to assist you, Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 5pm ET, plus during events.

My video doesn’t have any sound!

The first time you watch an event on our website it might be necessary to adjust the video settings to enable audio. To do this, hover over the video’s toolbar (lower right-hand side of the video) and click the volume setting to un-mute. Need more help? The support team at support@festivalofauthors.ca. is on standby to assist you, Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 5pm ET, plus during events.

Can I watch digital events from overseas?

Most likely, yes! Digital events are open to everyone around the world, however, access and optimal viewing quality may be limited in areas where internet connections are unstable.

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