Stories have been shared on this land for thousands of years, and the land Toronto International Festival of Authors operates on is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. During the 43rd edition of the Festival, we are proud to have many Indigenous authors joining us on stage.
Check out the list of 15 books by Indigenous authors to read below, and be on the look out for links to Festival events still to come. In honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada on September 30, we’ve chosen to spotlight Strong Nations, an Indigenous-owned bookstore in British Columbia where you can purchase the titles.
Tainna: The Unseen Ones, Short Stories by Norma Dunning
Drawing on both lived experience and cultural memory, Norma Dunning brings together six powerful new short stories centred on modern-day Inuk characters in Tainna: The Unseen Ones, Short Stories. Norma Dunning’s masterful storytelling uses humour and incisive detail to create compelling characters who discover themselves in a hostile land where prejudice, misogyny and inequity are most often found hidden in plain sight. Tainna won the 2021 Governor General’s Award for literature. Also be sure to pre-order Dunning’s next book, Kinauvit?: What’s Your Name? The Eskimo Disc System and a Daughter’s Search for her Grandmother.
See Norma Dunning in the following event:
Critical Conversation: Continuing to Act: Reconciling, Not Reconciliation
October 2 at 7pm, Studio Theatre
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliot
In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight into the ongoing legacy of colonialism in A Mind Spread Out on the Ground. She engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, mental illness, poverty, writing and representation, and in the process makes connections between the past and present, the personal and political. With deep consideration and searing prose, Elliott provides a candid look at our past, an illuminating portrait of our present and a powerful tool for a better future.
See Alicia Elliot in the following event:
The Re-Read: Tomson Highway on Indigenous Mythology
September 28 at 8pm, Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Laughing with the Trickster by Tomson Highway
Laughing with the Trickster provides brilliant, jubilant insights into the glory and anguish of life from one of the world’s most treasured Indigenous creators. Trickster is zany, ridiculous. The ultimate, over-the-top, madcap fool. Here to remind us that the reason for existence is to have a blast and to laugh ourselves silly.
See Tomson Highway in the following event:
The Re-Read: Tomson Highway on Indigenous Mythology
September 28 at 8pm, Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Mighty Muskrats by Michael Hutchinson
Sam, Otter, Atim and Chickadee are four inseparable cousins growing up on the Windy Lake First Nation. Nicknamed the Mighty Muskrats for their habit of laughing, fighting, and exploring together, the cousins find that each new adventure adds to their reputation. In the midst of community conflict, family concerns, and environmental protests, the four get busy following every lead. From their base of operations in a fort made out of an old school bus, the Mighty Muskrats won’t let anything stop them from solving their case!
See Michael Hutchinson in the following event:
Mighty Muskrats: Michael Hutchinson
October 1 at 4:30pm, Word Lab (Tent A)
Our Voice of Fire by Brandi Morin
A wildfire of a debut memoir by internationally recognized French/Cree/Iroquois journalist Brandi Morin set to transform the narrative around Indigenous Peoples. Morin is also a survivor of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis and uses her experience to tell the stories of those who did not survive the rampant violence. Our Voice of Fire chronicles Morin’s journey to overcome enormous adversity and find her purpose, and her power, through journalism.
See Brandi Morin in the following event:
Critical Conversation: Continuing to Act: Reconciling, Not Reconciliation
October 2 at 7pm, Studio Theatre
Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice, blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn. Moon of the Crusted Snow was the winner of the 2019 OLA Forest of Reading Evergreen award.
See Waubgeshig Rice in the following events:
A Different Page: Open Creation
September 30 at 12pm, South Lawn Tent
A Different Page Presented by Pratibha Arts
September 30 at 8pm, Lakeside Terrace
Rehearsals for Living by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson & Robyn Harding
When the world entered pandemic lockdown in spring 2020, Robyn Maynard, influential author of Policing Black Lives, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, renowned artist, musician, and author of Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies, began writing each other letters which grew into a powerful exchange about where we go from here. By articulating to each other Black and Indigenous perspectives on our unprecedented here and now, Maynard and Simpson create something new in Rehearsals for Living: an urgent demand for a different way forward, and a poetic call to dream up other ways of ordering earthly life.
See Leanne Betasamosake Simpson in the following event:
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson in Concert
October 1 at 7:30pm, Concert Stage
Half-Bads in White Regalia by Cody Caetano
Capturing the chaos and wonder of a precarious childhood, Cody Caetano delivers a fever dream coming-of-age garnished with a slang all his own. Half-Bads in White Regalia is an unforgettable debut that unspools a tangled family history with warmth, humour, and deep generosity.
Màgòdiz by Gabe Calderón
Magodiz (Anishinabemowin, Algonquin dialect): a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of their country.
Everything that was green and good is gone, scorched away by a war that no one living remembers. The small surviving human population scavenges to get by; they cannot read or write and lack the tools or knowledge to rebuild. The only ones with any power are the mindless Enforcers, a formless spiritual entity that has infiltrated the world to subjugate the human population.
With themes of resistance, of ceremony as the conduit between realms, of transcending gender, Magodiz is a powerful and visionary reclamation that Two-Spirit people always have and always will be vital to the cultural and spiritual legacy of their communities.
The Walrus and the Caribou by Maika Harper
When the earth was new, words had the power to breathe life into the world. But when creating animals from breath, sometimes one does not get everything right on the first try! Based on a traditional Inuit story passed forward orally for generations in the South Baffin region of Nunavut, The Walrus and the Caribou shares with young readers the origin of the caribou and the walrus—and tells of how very different these animals looked when they were first conceived.
Celia’s Song by Lee Maracle
Mink is a witness, a shape shifter, compelled to follow the story that has ensnared Celia, a seer, and her village, on the West coast of Vancouver Island in Nuu’Chahlnuth territory. Celia’s Song relates one Nuu’Chahlnuth family’s harrowing experiences over several generations, after the brutality, interference, and neglect resulting from contact with Europeans.
Blood by Tyler Pennock
Conceived in the same world as their acclaimed debut, Bones, Tyler Pennock’s Blood follows a Two-Spirit Indigenous person as they navigate urbanity, queerness, and a kaleidoscope of dreams, memory, and kinship. Pennock weaves longing, intimacy and Anishinaabe relationalities to recentre and rethink their speaker’s relationship to the living-never forgetting non-human kin. It is a reminder that Indigenous people carry the impacts of colonial history and wrestle with them constantly, exploring the relationships between spring and winter, ice and water, static things and things beginning to move, and what emerges in the thaw.
The Misewa Saga by David A. Robertson
Morgan and Eli are Indigenous children who discover a portal at their foster home to another world, Askī; there they discover talking animal beings who connect them to traditional ways, as well as help them deal with the challenges in the real world. A fantasy for readers aged ten and up, the Misewa Saga (“misewa” is Cree for “all that is”) series reflects stories of the sky and the constellations held within its great canvas. Get your copy of Barren Grounds, Great Bear and Stone Child.
All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward by Tanya Talaga
Based on her Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy series, All Our Relations is a powerful call for action, justice, and a better, more equitable world for all Indigenous Peoples. In this urgent and incisive work, bestselling and award-winning author Tanya Talaga explores the alarming rise of youth suicide in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. The Indigenous experience in colonized nations are marked by the violent separation of Peoples from the land, the separation of families and the separation of individuals from traditional ways of life. But, Talaga reminds us, First Peoples also share a history of resistance, resilience, and civil rights activism.
Whitemud Walking by Matthew James Weigel
Whitemud Walking is a genre-bending work of visual and lyric poetry, non-fiction prose, photography, and digital art and design. Using photos, documents, and recordings that are about or involve his ancestors, but are kept in archives, Weigel examines the consequences of this erasure and sequestration.
View the full festival reading list here!
The 43rd Toronto International Festival of Authors runs September 22 to October 2, featuring over 200 events taking place live and in person at Harbourfront Centre. Whether you are a beloved reader of poetry, non-fiction or fiction, there is so much to see and do.
Even if you are an avid TIFA fan, there are new offers in store, so be sure to check out the tips below to make the most of our biggest Festival yet.
With conversations, performances, readings, masterclasses and much more happening throughout the 11 days, don’t miss this chance at hearing world-class authors share their love of storytelling. Get your tickets early so you don’t get caught up in the last-minute rush and lose out on attending any events. Buy tickets online or call the Harbourfront Centre box office at 416-973-4000 (choose option #1).
Box Office Hours:
September 22–23: 12–9 pm
September 24 to October 2: 10:30am – 9pm
Satellite box offices will open at the Fleck Dance Theatre and Harbourfront Centre Theatre one hour before events begin at those locations.
With each day packed with a dozen or more events, get yourself a day, weekend or all-access pass for the opportunity to see as many events as you can. Once you get your pass, all you have to do is stop by the box office to pick it up starting September 21, and the schedule becomes yours to explore. Get passes here.
Passes exclude access to masterclasses, TIFA Kids workshops, The Moth, the CCBC 2022 Awards Ceremony, walking tours and Freedom to Write and to Read: Standing with Salman Rushdie.
Take advantage of discounts
If you are planning within a tight budget, make sure you don’t miss out on important discounts. Students and youth (aged 25 and under) can attend TIFA events for only $12. Some exceptions do apply, so be sure to check the box office for details.
As well, if you are part of a book club or reading group, make a plan to visit the Festival together to make the most of the Book Club discount. 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).
As Canada’s largest literary festival, we are thrilled to bring back favourite event series like Critical Conversations, The Re-Read, Masterclasses and Ask the Expert, as well as new formats like walking tours, exhibits and free readings. Additionally, the Festival features the second annual PEN Canada Graeme Gibson talk, The Moth, Theater of War: The Waste Land Project and Dreams in Vantablack: Film Screening. Don’t miss these events and more by browsing the full schedule here.
Don’t get lost! Plan your way to Harbourfront Centre early so you know how to get here without any trouble. You can find directions for getting here by train, TTC, car and foot here.
Once you get to Harbourfront Centre, you can use the 2022 Festival map to find tents, venues and installations. Check out the map here.
Keep up-to-date on Festival news
Be the first to know what’s going on by following @FestofAuthors on:
Or get information right to your inbox by signing up for our enews here.
Don’t forget to share your Festival experience on social media with #FestofAuthors22.
Explore the free activities and performances
There will be free events and activities taking place all over the Harbourfront Centre campus during #FestofAuthors22. From a pop-up coffee shop in the Marilyn Brewer Community Space to Stage in the Park readings, don’t miss the variety of free offerings throughout the 11 days. Browse free events here.
Check your email for your tickets
Once you have purchased tickets to one (or many more) of the events, keep a watchful eye on your email. All tickets will be sent via email. You will need your e-ticket to access the event. If you don’t see it in your inbox, be sure to check your spam or junk folder.
If you have any questions about tickets, reach out to Harbourfront Centre’s box office at 416-973-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From memoirs to YA, and thrillers to literary fiction, our official booksellers Rakuten Kobo and Indigo have you covered for all your Festival book needs. See the full list of #FestofAuthors22 books here.
If you prefer ebook and audiobooks, you can browse Kobo’s online catalogue at any time here. If hardcover and paperbacks are more your style, be sure to drop by the Marilyn Brewer Community Space inside Harbourfront Centre to pick up books at the Indigo Bookstore.
Have a question? See if it is answered on our FAQ page.
Browse the full #FestofAuthors22 schedule here.
With the 43rd edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors around the corner, it’s time to spotlight all the fun (and mostly free!) TIFA Kids events taking place September 22 to October 2. Authors and illustrators from Canada and around the world will be joining us to explore identity, history and culture, environment, science and imagination through books.
From crafts to conversations, and storytimes to workshops, these 11-days are packed full of dynamic and engaging events for the whole family. Check out just some of the 30+ TIFA Kids events happening below.
Drop in at the TIFA Kids tent any day of the Festival for endless fun at Storydrop! Presented in partnership with the Children’s Book Bank, Storydrop offers fun, hands-on activities for ages 4 and up. Dress up as your favourite character and bring a book to life at the Book Jacket Photobooth; contribute to the creation of the Great Collage Creature, a large crowd-created art piece to be displayed at the Children’s Book Bank; cozy up for an afternoon of reading in the book nook, where you’ll find books by featured authors and illustrators at the Festival. Plus, each weekend of the Festival from 2–4pm, there will be the chance to join in with an illustrator from the programme to create a giant piece of artwork.
Located on the west lawn at Harbourfront Centre, this space is part of the free, outdoor events at #FestofAuthors22.
Authors & illustrators in person
Hear authors and illustrators talk about their latest books in person each day of the Festival. Don’t miss Rochelle Strauss and Natasha Donovan talking about the ocean or Joyce Grant exploring the importance of teaching kids to navigate the internet with a critical eye. As well, Michael Hutchinson, Nancy Vo, Kenneth Oppel and Sachiko Kashiwaba are just some of the authors joining us for conversations, Q&A and readings. Browse more events here.
The Happiness Collectors
The world’s supply of happiness is running low and The Happiness Collectors need your help! Pop on your headphones and join SAM (Special Agent M) on a journey of sounds and silliness to learn the best ways to collect happiness – and most important of all, how to pass it on! SAM will take your around the world to visit the jungle, the Antarctic, New York City, a beach, an Olympic stadium and the circus.
The Happiness Collectors is friendly for all neurodiverse people and families with children aged 5+. Each audience member will be given a set of wireless headphones to wear for the duration of the performance.
Registration is needed to attend. Book your tickets here. See Additional Performance Dates to select a time.
Located in the South Lawn Tent, this event is part of the free, outdoor events at #FestofAuthors22.
It wouldn’t be a book festival without some of the best storytellers reading books to you! Join your favourite authors reading their own books or even their favourite books. Author and illustrator Kevin Sylvester discusses the latest book in his Hockey Super Six series, In The Game, as well as Apartment 713. Linda Bondestam will take you under the sea in My Life at the Bottom to learn about one of the world’s rarest sea creatures with the chance to do some drawings of your own. On September 25 and October 2, Fay and Fluffy will be on the Stage in the Park spreading their message of inclusivity, kindness and being proud of yourself – and show that reading is FUN-damental! There is much more to see at the festival so be sure to check out all the TIFA Kids event listings.
The Big Create & Make
The Big Create & Make is a drop-in session where you can linger for 10 minutes or 2 hours, and be part of making something big, beautiful and creative! Get in on the Festival fun and meet a published picture-book illustrator, while flexing your own creative muscles. Taking place September 24–25 and October 1–2, each day will feature a different illustrator:
Located in the Storydrop space (Tent B), this event is part of the free, outdoor events at #FestofAuthors22.
Calling all aspiring authors and artists! TIFA Kids is offering a variety of free writing and illustration workshops with some of the authors appearing at the festival. Ashley Spires will be talking about how she came up with her character, Binky the Space Cat, and you’ll even get to create your own comic! Ireland’s Laureate na nÓg, Áine Ní Ghlinn will take your storytelling to the next level by offering a range of writing prompts to populate your blank pages. Let your creativity flow!
Spectacular Translation Machine
Have you ever wondered how one language translates to another? Do you think we come up with the same words? Oui ou non? Join us in translating some of the picture book La Petite Créature by French illustrator and graphic artist, Marjolaine Leray. Pick the page and whatever language you like and our translators will help! What will the book look like by the end? It all depends on the words you choose …
A Tribute to Children’s Books
Children’s books are often the first contact we have with literature and art, and they make a powerful impression. Regardless of age and culture, we have used stories both as entertainment and in search of knowledge, to strengthen our ties with others – both those who are like us and those who are unlike us – and not least in order to understand our own existence. The Swedish Academy for Children’s Books seeks to enable children to have access to powerful and enriching reading experiences and has produced this exhibition as a tribute to children’s literature. Learn more here.
CCBC Book Awards
TIFA is proud to partner with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) to present the 2022 CCBC Book Awards, celebrating the best Canadian books for young people. The winners for the English-language awards will be announced in this broadcast of the much-anticipated event in the world of Canadian books for young people. You can view the event in person or virtually!
See the full list of #TIFAKids events here!
The International Visitors (IV) Programme, in association with the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA), today announced that Iris Tupholme, SVP, Executive Publisher at HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., will be the 11th recipient of the Ivy Award, given annually to an individual who has made a substantial contribution to Canadian publishing. Tupholme will be honoured during the 2022 Ivy Award & Conversation taking place at Harbourfront Centre during TIFA on September 26 at 11:30am (ET). The free-with-registration event will also feature an introduction by award-winning author Lawrence Hill, and a conversation with Chantal Restivo-Alessi, Chief Digital Officer and CEO International Foreign Language for HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. TIFA, Canada’s largest and longest-running literary festival, celebrates its 43rd edition from September 22 to October 2, 2022.
“I’m delighted to be chosen as the 2022 Ivy Award recipient and particularly honoured to know that author Lawrence Hill will introduce me at TIFA for this event,” said Iris Tupholme. “The Ivy Award is such a special acknowledgement because it comes from our industry colleagues whose support and encouragement I have always appreciated.”
“On behalf of the IV Committee I want to state how delighted we all are that Iris Tupholme has been selected to receive this year’s Ivy Award,” said Carolyn Forde, IV Chair, Partner and Senior Literary Agent at
Transatlantic Agency, President, PACLA (Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents). “As the
Publisher of HarperCollins Canada, Iris has a hand in bringing some of this country’s most important books to readers, and in nurturing, supporting and championing a wonderful roster of authors. As if that wasn’t enough, the IV Programme exists because of Iris’s outstanding vision and tireless hard work. Over 15 years ago she conceived of this fellowship program and through it she has done so much to showcase the entire Canadian publishing industry to a wide range of international publishers, editors, agents and scouts and has also created a unique and powerful opportunity for Canadian publishing professionals to work together. We are so grateful to Iris and so happy to see her receive this well deserved recognition.”
This year’s Ivy Award jury is composed of Alison Jones, Carolyn Forde, Kyle Wyatt and Roland Gulliver. Past Ivy Award recipients include: Errol Sharpe (2021), Nurjehan Aziz (2020), Anne Collins (2019), Brian Lam (2018), Phyllis Bruce (2017), Linda McKnight (2016), David Kent (2015), Dean Cooke (2014), Louise Dennys (2013) and Scott McIntyre (2012).
The IV Programme is funded by:
As the official presenter of MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival, Kobo Plus is offering Toronto International Festival of Authors guests, friends and supporters an opportunity to try Kobo’s all-you-can-read subscription service.
Choose from hundreds of thousands of popular, classic and original titles for only $9.99 a month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
Want to see the full schedule? Check it out here.
On May 31, 2022, Kegedonce Press will release a remarkable new poetry collection, a collaboration with the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) and Festival of the Peripheries (FLUP), titled Slam Coalkan Performance Poetry: The Condor and the Eagle Meet. In 2021, 17 Indigenous spoken-word artists from Abya Yala (South America) and Turtle Island (North America) were invited by TIFA in Toronto, Canada, and Festival of the Peripheries (FLUP) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to participate in a virtual edition of Slam Coalkan. This project, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, was created to allow Indigenous poets from across the Americas to meet and share ideas, dreams and aspirations for the future, through two slam performances and a series of roundtables around the importance of storytelling. TIFA then reached out to Kegedonce Press to have the performers’ works published in an English-language anthology.
Slam Coalkan is curated by poets Jennifer Alicia Murrin of Toronto and Renata Tupinambá of São Paulo. The festivals’ directors, Roland Gulliver (TIFA) and Julio Ludemir (FLUP) have each contributed an afterword reflecting on this extraordinary cross-continental collaboration. Digitally enhanced with QR codes, Slam Coalkan links readers to videos of the poets’ performances at the FLUP and TIFA festivals.
The two Slam Coalkan competitions and the resulting anthology evoke an ancient Indigenous prophecy called coalkan, in which South America is represented by the Condor and North America, the Eagle. The prophecy states: The day will come when the Eagle and the Condor will fly together in the same sky, wing to wing, and the world will come into balance. The poetry of Slam Coalkan speaks out against the evils of colonialism, racism, transphobia and genocide.
The artwork on the book’s visually stunning cover is by Philip Cote III and Gustavo Caboco, with design by Chantal Lalonde and Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm.
Tyler Pennock, award-winning author of Bones, writes of Slam Coalkan: “This collection is an invitation, a re-focusing, and a collaboration long overdue. Persistent and affirming, the poets pull our gaze away from centered norms of power, empire, and colony. In this, every poem is a world, unique to the storyteller, diverse and full, maintained as living response to the brutality of oppression. Every page is necessary and compelling – an awakening, and a ‘body that transmutes hate in song.’”
Slam Coalkan will have its official launch at an in-person and online event at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto on June 21 at 7pm ET. Contributor and editor Jennifer Alicia Murrin will participate and the event will be moderated by Tyler Pennock.
The inaugural MOTIVE Festival, from the Toronto International Festival of Authors, is almost here! Featuring nearly 100 authors from Canada and around the globe, over 40 in-person events, and a variety of free outdoor events all weekend long, MOTIVE offers a lot to see and do.
No need to sleuth for clues on how to make the most of MOTIVE, because we’ve put together your ultimate guide to making the most of your June 3–5 weekend.
Get tickets early
While it may be tempting to wait until the last minute to get tickets, we recommend getting them before it’s too late! Be sure to browse the schedule and book your tickets in advance to guarantee your spot to meet the incredible authors joining us for readings, conversations and book signings.
Explore an entire event series
Along with single interviews and readings, MOTIVE offers several series of events that bring world-class authors and experts together to discuss fascinating themes that can’t be unpacked in just one session. Four events explore the politics and societal effects of real-life crime and mysteries under the banner name, Critical Conversations. Several Masterclasses demonstrate key facets of crime writing, while The Re-Read series explores genre classics through the eyes of contemporary crime writers. Learn from the best and get a new perspective on topics all in one weekend. Browse events here.
See it all with the All-Access Pass
Can’t decide what to see at MOTIVE, or want to spend all weekend with us? Get yourself an All-Access Pass! These passes grant you one admission to nearly all MOTIVE events (Masterclasses excepted). Once you book a pass, you can then register for all the events you wish to see at no extra charge by following the instructions in the confirmation email.
Take advantage of the student and youth discount
Attending events can be hard on a student budget, but with TIFA’s student and youth (aged 25 and under) discount, you can get tickets to a regular MOTIVE event for only $12.50. While it doesn’t apply to Masterclasses, there are over 40 in-person events where you can save money and still get to see your favourite authors.
Invite your book club and save
Bring your book buddies to the waterfront, listen to fascinating conversations and enjoy the outdoor ambiance of a waterfront festival. From cozy mysteries to chilling thrillers, there are plenty of events to suit a variety of reading preferences. 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).
Plan your way to Harbourfront Centre
Plan your way to Harbourfront Centre before you leave, to avoid unnecessary troubles. You can find directions for getting here by train, TTC, car and foot here.
If you are travelling to MOTIVE from Toronto Pearson International Airport, take advantage of TIFA’s UP Express discount. Use the code Motive22 on www.upexpress.com to get 25% off the adult rate.
After two years of virtual events and changing rules about COVID-19 safety, it’s understandable that you may have questions about safety protocol for MOTIVE. Following Ontario provincial health guidelines, as of May 2, Harbourfront Centre has lifted its mandatory masks and vaccination policy for visitors, but strongly recommends visitors continue to wear masks while on campus and inside venues. A mandatory vaccination policy for Harbourfront Centre and TIFA employees, as well as volunteers, continues to be in effect. Hand sanitization stations are available throughout the campus. For more information about health and safety at Harbourfront Centre, please visit: HarbourfrontCentre.com/safety
Check your email for your tickets
Once you have purchased tickets to see your favourite authors, keep a watchful eye on your email. All tickets will be sent via email. You will need your e-ticket to access the event. If you don’t see it in your inbox, be sure to check your spam or junk folder.
If you have any questions about tickets, reach out to Harbourfront Centre’s box office at 416-973-4000 or email@example.com.
Enjoy free activities all weekend
Harbourfront Centre’s campus will be buzzing with activity on June 4 and 5 with readings, book signings, activities and scavenger hunts. Everyone is welcome to scope out the fun at the TIFA Kids tents, Crime Writers of Canada meet and greets, Kobo Cabana Reading Lounge, Toronto Crime Tours stories and more! Don’t forget to stop by Indigo’s Festival bookstore to browse the collection of thrilling reads.
Join the conversation
Ask a question, take a picture or share your Festival experience with us on social media! Follow @FestofAuthors on:
Don’t forget to use #MotiveTO in your posts.
Buy the books
TIFA’s official booksellers are ready to get books into your hands! Whether it’s an ebook, audiobook, hardcover or paperback, Kobo and Indigo have everything you need to be well-read. Browse Kobo’s online catalogue at any time here, and be sure to drop by the Marilyn Brewer Community Space inside Harbourfront Centre to get your hardcopies at the Indigo Bookstore.
Have a question? See if it is answered on our FAQ page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Browse the full schedule of MOTIVE events, readings and conversations here.
If you can’t join us in person at Harbourfront Centre, be sure to check out the 14 free, digital events available until June 8 here.
Opportunities are ripe for aspiring crime and mystery writers at MOTIVE Festival, presented by Kobo Plus. The newest literary celebration from the Toronto International Festival of Authors offers many ways to meet like-minded booklovers and learn from the world’s best authors.
From insightful conversations to hands-on classes, MOTIVE audiences can gain award-winning advice on how to take their next step in the publishing process. Here is a collection of activities worth considering to further your writing career.
Sit down with acclaimed authors and industry experts for a MOTIVE Masterclass, where hands-on lessons dive into crafting compelling stories and perfecting the art of editing. Each leading their own class, Torontonian Marissa Stapley, Scottish author Doug Johnstone and UK publisher Karen Sullivan will share a facet of their expertise in an intimate 90-minute session in Harbourfront Centre’s Main Loft. Whether you sign up for all or just one, be sure to bring your questions about plotting, writing and publishing for these experts to tackle. All writing levels are welcome.
Masterclass: Marissa Stapley on the Heart of Character Development (Friday, June 3 at 6pm ET)
Masterclass: Doug Johnstone on Killer Editing (Saturday, June 4 at 4pm ET)
Masterclass: Karen Sullivan on the Path to Published (Sunday, June 5 at 4pm ET)
Pictured: Doug Johnstone.
Crime-writing experts Margaret Cannon and Sarah Weinman will take the MOTIVE stage to field your questions about writing tools and trends and Canadian reading recommendations. Don’t miss this chance to ask the experts your biting crime-genre queries at these free, outdoor presentations.
Pictured: Sarah Weinman.
Ever wonder what it’s like to pitch a book idea? TIFA and the Crime Writers of Canada invite you to be a fly on the wall to witness a live pitch session in action. Pitch Perfect is a showcase of writers pitching their ideas to a panel of judges. Be prepared to jot down some notes as the panel of publishing experts provide constructive feedback on their ideas. This event is free with registration.
Pictured: Pitch Perfect judge Carolyn Forde, Partner, Senior Literary Agent and International Rights Director at Transatlantic Agency.
What better way to become a great writer than to learn from the classics? TIFA’s Re-Read series is back for MOTIVE, featuring award-winning writers , Kurdo Baksi, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid taking a look at famous books and authors who have captivated readers for decades and made a substantial impact on the crime and mystery genre. From Agatha Christie to Stieg Larsson, you’ll learn how prolific authors broke the rules to make the genre their own.
The Re-Read: Val McDermid on Agatha Christie (Saturday, June 4 at 1pm ET)
The Re-Read: Kurdo Baksi on Stieg Larsson (Saturday, June 4 at 1:30pm ET)
The Re-Read: Mark Billingham on Dashiell Hammett (Sunday, June 5 at 1pm ET)
Debut authors were aspiring writers not too long ago, and are a great resource for learning about the publishing industry right now. Join debut authors Ramona Emerson, Wanda Morris and Nita Prose at MOTIVE to learn about their books and publishing process, and get advice on how to jump from aspiring to published.
Secrets & Lies: Wanda Morris & Chris Pavone (Sunday, June 5 at 6:30pm ET)
The Maid: Nita Prose (Sunday, June 5 at 7pm ET)
Paranormal Plotlines: Ramona Emerson & Stuart Neville (Sunday, June 5 at 7:30pm ET)
Pictured: Ramona Emerson.
Meet your favourite authors in person throughout the weekend at MOTIVE book signings, which take place after most ticketed events and at the Crime Writers of Canada tent. It’s an opportune time to interact one-on-one and ask that quick burning question. Be sure to check individual event pages for details on book signings.
Looking for more? Browse the full MOTIVE schedule here.
Meet some of Canada’s best crime writers live and on stage at the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival, which marks the exciting return of in-person programming for the Toronto International Festival of Authors. MOTIVE runs from June 3 to 5.
Learn how these masters of the whodunit build immersive worlds, indelible characters and clockwork plots that will keep you turning the page late into the night. Just keep the light on!
Linwood Barclay is an American-born Canadian author whose New York Times bestselling novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Notable books include No Time for Goodbye, which The Daily Express called “a fast-moving rollercoaster of a read,” and Trust Your Eyes, a finalist for the Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read from the Crime Thriller Awards. Barclay’s newest novel, Take Your Breath Away, delves into the cold case of Brie Mason, a woman who mysteriously disappeared six years ago. When Brie’s lookalike returns, her husband Andrew must uncover a trail of accusations, lies and murder. Join master of suspense, Linwood Barclay, as he discusses his infectious new thriller.
Linwood Barclay will participate in the following events:
Take Your Breath Away: Linwood Barclay
Sunday, June 5 at 1:30pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Rabbit Hole: Mark Billingham with Linwood Barclay
Saturday, June 4 at 5pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Ian Hamilton is the Canadian author of the acclaimed Ava Lee and Uncle Chow Tung series. The Water Rat of Wanchai won the Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel, The Disciple of Las Vegas was shortlisted for the Barry Award and The Wild Beasts of Wuhan was shortlisted for the Lambda Award for best lesbian crime/mystery novel of 2013. BBC Culture named Hamilton as one of ten mystery writers from the last 30 years who should be on your bookshelf. In The Sultan of Sarawak, Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant Ava Lee travels to Malaysia on the trail of the powerful Chong family, who have a criminal stranglehold over the province. Join Ian Hamilton as he discusses his brilliant heroine and intricately crafted plots.
Ian Hamilton will participate in the following event:
The Sultan of Sarawak: Ian Hamilton
Sunday, June 5 at 1:30pm ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre
Robyn Harding is a Canadian author of many books, including The Party, which was an international bestseller, and The Swap, which reached #1 on both the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star bestseller lists. In The Perfect Family, Harding crafts a fast paced and character-driven thriller that explores the lives of Thomas and Viv Adler and their well-mannered children. When their Porsche is pelted with eggs, it sets off a cascade of attacks against the wealthy family. The police dismiss these as the work of bored teenagers, but the terrified Adlers begin to investigate on their own, only to discover family secrets better left hidden. Join Robyn Harding as she discusses her twisty, page-turner of a novel.
Robyn Harding will participate in the following event:
The Perfect Family: Robyn Harding
Saturday, June 4 at 2pm ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre
Thomas King is the Canadian-American author of Green Grass, Running Water; The Truth About Stories; The Back of the Turtle; Indians on Vacation; and the DreadfulWater mysteries. He has won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the RBC Taylor Prize and the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. King’s latest crime novel, Deep House, continues the adventures of Cherokee ex-cop Thumps DreadfulWater, who has found peace in small-town Chinook, only to stumble upon a body at the bottom of a treacherous canyon. Join Thomas King as he lays out the clues with his signature wit and wry humour.
Thomas King will participate in the following event:
Deep House: Thomas King with Shelagh Rogers
Saturday, June 4 at 7:30pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Canadian Shari Lapena is the bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, A Stranger in the House and An Unwanted Guest. Her books have sold seven million copies in 38 territories around the world. In her latest thriller, Not a Happy Family, Lapena delves into the lives of a rich and seemingly happy family in upstate New York. When Fred and Sheila Merton are brutally murdered the night after Easter Dinner, suspicion falls on their three adult children. Could one of them be a psychopath, and wouldn’t the other siblings know? Join Shari Lapena as she untangles this web of secrets, greed and revenge.
Shari Lapena will participate in the following event:
Not a Happy Family: Shari Lapena
Friday, June 3 at 6pm ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre
Beverley McLachlin is a Canadian crime writer and #1 national bestseller for her book, Full Disclosure, which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best First Crime Novel Award. She is also Canada’s longest-serving Chief Justice. Her novels combine thrilling plot twists with realistic courtroom scenes that have been used in law schools to show how trials really work. In McLachlin’s latest bestseller, Denial, brilliant defence attorney Jilly Truitt must use all her legal acumen to untangle the truth in a bizarre “mercy-killing” case. Join Beverley McLachlin as she discusses her process for creating a gripping mystery.
Beverley McLachlin will participate in the following events:
Denial: Beverley McLachlin
Sunday, June 5 at 11am ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre
Critical Conversation: The Ethics of Crime Writing
Friday, June 4 at 2pm ET, Outdoor Stage
Nita Prose is a Canadian author whose debut novel, The Maid, was a #1 national and New York Times bestseller, and was also a pick for the Good Morning America and Cityline book clubs. Molly Grant is a young woman who struggles with social queues. She takes a job as a hotel maid, delighting in her orderly surroundings. However, when Molly comes upon the body of rich and infamous Charles Black during her rounds, her unusual demeanor makes her the prime suspect for the police. Join Nita Prose as she lays out her Clue-like mystery and hear her unique perspective on the publishing world as an editor-turned-author.
Nita Prose will participate in the following event:
The Maid: Nita Prose
Sunday, June 5 at 7pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Canadian Marissa Stapley is a journalist, magazine editor and bestselling author of The Last Resort, Things to Do When It’s Raining and Mating for Life. Her newest book, Lucky, was a New York Times and national bestseller, and was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. Meet Lucky Armstrong, a talented grifter who is on the run from the police. When Lucky buys a lottery ticket on a whim, she discovers it is worth millions. Only problem, how to collect her winnings without being arrested? Join Marissa Stapley on this rollercoaster ride of a heist novel that interrogates the ideas of punishment, redemption and forgiveness.
Marissa Stapley will participate in the following events:
Lucky: Marissa Stapley with Hannah Mary McKinnon
Saturday, June 4 at 2pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre
Masterclass: Marissa Stapley on the Heart of Character Development
Friday, June 3 at 6pm ET, Main Loft in Harbourfront Centre
Crime Writers of Canada
After seeing your favourite Canadian mystery writers live on Harbourfront stage, sleuth out the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) Tent and meet them in-person. CWC is a national non-profit for Canadian crime and mystery writers. All day Saturday and Sunday, authors will be signing books and chatting with fans. The tent and readings are some of the many free, outdoor events at MOTIVE this year, including readings, discussions and activities for the whole family.