When is the Festival?
The 41st Edition of TIFA, Canada’s largest and longest-running festival of words and ideas, will take place Thursday October 22 to Sunday, November 1, 2020.
Where is the Festival held?
The 41st edition of TIFA will take place online in a brand new virtual format this year, making it accessible to curious readers from all around the globe. The events and activities you’ll see will be produced and recorded from across Toronto (including Harbourfront Centre’s stages) and from other locations throughout the world.
Why is the Festival being held online this year?
TIFA has adapted to a virtual festival format this year to bring people together in new ways that encourage social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19. All of TIFA’s 2020 events and activities will be produced and delivered in ways that promote the health and safety of our community, and follow the advice of Toronto Public Health.
What types of events/activities are available?
The 41st edition of TIFA will feature a wide range of over 200 virtual events and activities, for readers, aspiring writers, families and children. Events include author interviews and panel discussions, poetry readings and poetry slams, musical performances, anniversary celebrations and book launches. Events offer opportunities to discover more about literature, including masterclasses for aspiring writers (facilitated by Humber College), authors in conversation about iconic Canadian literature (in partnership with the Writers’ Trust of Canada), the delivery of the annual International Visitors (IV) Programme keynote address, and the annual TDSB Young Writers Conference. Special celebrations include the presentation of the annual Ivy Award and a celebration of the 2020 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Award recipients. On demand digital offerings will include several limited edition podcasts, audio walking tours, a small press map of Canada, an animated video commission by illustrator Axel Kinnear and more. New commissions will include the Skin Hunger collection of writing by international authors and a video installation featuring the Toronto Writers Collective, which will be on display live at Toronto’s Union Station.
How do I sign up for the Festival?
Simply click here and create a free account on our website, or use your existing Harbourfront Centre log-in information, to register for the Festival. Once you’re logged in to the website, you can freely browse all the events, and when you see one you like, click the yellow button called “Register for this event” to add it to your itinerary.
- To register for series The Elements of Story: Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, please follow this link to book on the Canadian Stage website.
- To register for a Humber College Masterclass, please follow this link to book on the Humber College website.
- To register for Manuel Mathieu with Edwidge Danticat in partnership with The Power Plant, please follow this link.
How do I view my events?
Most Festival events will take place directly on our website. After you sign up for the Festival (see above), you will be able to browse events on our website and add them to your personal itinerary. Once an event is in your itinerary, you will be able to view it on our website at its designated day and time. When it’s time for the event to begin, simply go to your “Itinerary” page (on a desktop, simply click the button on the top right-hand corner of the website; on a mobile device your itinerary is listed in the main menu navigation in the bottom right-hand corner), then find the listed event, and click through to watch it. The video will remain active for up to three days after it is released, so you can watch it on-demand at your own convenience.
- All the Rage: Evan Winter on The Fires of Vengeance: This event will take place live on Instagram @festofauthors.
- Between The Shorelines: Storying Indigenous Presence in Toronto: These virtual walking tours will take place on Zoom. After registering for this event, your Zoom link will be emailed to you from TIFA one day prior to the event date.
- Christa Couture Live: This event will take place live on Instagram @festofauthors.
- The Elements of Story: Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns: Directions will be provided directly from Canadian Stage, after your ticket is purchased.
- FLUP Queer Slams: After registering for one (or more) of these events, a unique link to access them will be emailed to you from TIFA one day prior to the event date.
- Humber College Masterclasses: Directions will be provided directly from Humber College, after your ticket is purchased.
- International Spoken Word Night: This event will take place on Zoom. After registering for this event, your Zoom link will be emailed to you from TIFA one day prior to the event date.
- Manuel Mathieu with Edwidge Danticat: This event will take place on Zoom. After registering for this event, your Zoom link will be emailed to you from The Power Plant prior to the event date.
- Toronto Poetry Slam: This event will take place on Zoom. After registering for this event, your Zoom link will be emailed to you from TIFA one day prior to the event date.
- Cynthia Loyst: Find Your Pleasure: This event will take place on Zoom. After registering for this event, your Zoom link will be emailed to you from TIFA one day prior to the event date.
Do I need to register in order to watch?
Yes. It is necessary to sign up for the Festival in order to watch events. Events can only be viewed once you are logged in to our website. However, you may explore TIFA’s podcasts and the Small Press Interactive Map without being logged in.
Am I eligible for the survey contest prize?
TIFA’s survey contest prize is open to all Festival registrants who are residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) and who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory at the time of entry, and who have completed their Festival survey by the required deadline. For full contest rules and regulations, click here.
Can I watch from overseas?
Most likely, yes! The virtual Festival is open to everyone around the world, however, access and optimal viewing quality may be limited in areas where internet connections are unstable.
How long will the events be available to view?
Events will go live on the website at the date and time listed in the Festival calendar, and most can be watched for up to three days, so don’t worry about signing up for overlapping events! Other digital activities, such as the Festival podcasts, the Small Presses of Canada Map, and the Radical Acts of Love video commission will be released on their designated days and then remain accessible on the website for the duration of the Festival.
- Humber College Masterclasses: These live, virtual masterclass events are only available in real time.
- Between The Shorelines: Storying Indigenous Presence in Toronto: This live, virtual walking tour is only available in real time.
- Cynthia Loyst: Find Your Pleasure: This is a live event, taking place on Zoom, and will only be available in real time.
- Toronto Poetry Slam: This is a live event, taking place on Zoom, and will only be available in real time.
- International Spoken Word Night: This is a live event, taking place on Zoom, and will only be available in real time.
Are all the events live?
This year, TIFA is presenting a large programme with many different types of events, many with unique and complex production considerations, including authors from different time zones around the world. For that reason, more than half of this year’s events will be streamed live, while others will be pre-recorded to accommodate scheduling and editing requirements.
How long are the events?
Most Festival events, including interviews, will be approx. 45min in length. Critical Conversations events will be approx. 60min in length. Masterclasses and Re-Read events will be approx. 90min in length.
How can I buy the book? Will they be signed?
The Festival’s official bookseller, the UofT Bookstore, has created an online catalogue of Festival books that can be purchased online here. Orders of $100 or more will qualify for free shipping. The UofT Bookstore is working with publishers to acquire a selection of signed copies by the author, and signed book plates. These signed books will be available while supplies last and will be available on a first-come/first-served basis.
Are there any events for kids?
Yes! This year, TIFA has introduced a new series of family and kid-friendly events called TIFA Kids! Join us online on Oct. 31 – Nov. 1 to watch a number of events for kids, featuring children’s authors and illustrators, as well as events about children’s literature, featuring experts from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Click here to see the full TIFA Kids! event listing.
Are the events accessible for people with hearing impairments?
TIFA is committed to presenting a Festival experience that’s accessible to as many book lovers as possible. We are exploring options for delivering closed captioning for the hearing impaired for as many events as possible. At the moment, the events in highest demand will receive captioning, applied to the videos, 24 hours after they premiere.
Can I ask questions during the events?
All LIVE solo interviews and double interviews will feature author Q&A opportunities. Pre-recorded events will not include Q&A segments.
How can I support TIFA if the events are free?
This year, we are offering free access to more literary experiences than ever before. In past years we earned revenue through ticket sales and are hoping you could give a donation to help us continue to offer our events for free. Any amount helps! Please donate today or support us by joining as a Friend or Patron for benefits year-round. Donations of C$20 or more, as well as Friend, Patron and Patron+ support, are eligible for Canadian tax receipts. Click here to make your donation.