Standing up and singing on a restaurant table at the age of four was the beginning of Elsie Morden’s journey as an entertainer. Since then, this prairie girl always knew deep down that she wanted to be a performer, however it wasn’t until her mid teens that her true passion for music and public speaking was discovered.
Growing up, severe and relentless school bullying became regular on a daily basis for Elsie. Being made fun of for her curly hair and good grades, getting called mean names, and being continuously left out are only a few of the unfortunate things that led to the destruction of Elsie’s confidence and self-esteem. “I would always ask myself ‘why me?’, I didn’t understand why I wasn’t good enough. I dreaded going to school, I was so afraid of what would happen next and by the end of the day I usually found myself crying.” The bullying turned into a vicious cycle that Elsie thought she would never escape.
After she was punched in the face, Elsie realized things needed to change. Despite the overwhelming hard times and an ongoing battle with depression and an anxiety disorder, she refused to bow to defeat and eventually gained the strength to pull through; only becoming more driven than ever to rise above it all. “I found myself turning to music, I would pick up the guitar we had at my house and I’d start strumming while scribbling my feelings and thoughts down in notebooks” she shares, “I realized that music was my outlet, it is what makes me happy – writing and performing is what I love to do and nothing or no one can take that away from me anymore.”
Now in just six years, country artist Elsie Morden already has some very impressive gigs under her belt including: Dauphin’s Countryfest, Diamonds in the Rough Showcase at Canadian Country Music Week (London, ON, Saskatoon, SK, and Calgary, AB), East Coast Music Unplugged with Eastlink TV, East Coast Country Night at Casino Nova Scotia, The Winnipeg Fringe Festival, The Back 40 Festival, The Winnipeg Folk Festival, The Halifax Urban Folk Festival, Deep Roots Music Festival, Summer in the City Festival, The Winkler Harvest Festival, Indie Week – Toronto, and Parks Alive Festivals in Kelowna, BC. Elsie placed 2nd in the Canaan Mountain Music Fest’s Country Horizon Artist Contest and returned to perform in the Local Artist Showcase in 2018. Sharing the stage with Dave Gunning, Christina Martin, and The Town Heroes, Elsie was a part of the 2019 CIOE East Coast Music Winter Showcase at the Spatz Theatre in Halifax, NS. She was also chosen to participate in the 2019 SOCAN Song House at the East Coast Music Association Awards in Charlottetown, PE. The Manitoba Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year Award Nominee and Music Nova Scotia Country Recording of the Year Award Nominee has a diverse catalogue of honest, original, and relatable songs. Her self-titled, debut, full length album reached #28 on iTunes and has over 500,000 streams on Spotify. Co-produced and written solely by Elsie Morden, listeners can get to know her not only as an artist, but as a person too. Her single “Be Mine” received airplay on Sirius XM’s CBC Country channel and became a top 100 song on the BDS Canadian country radio chart. Elsie’s love for music, consistent determination, a pure heart-warming voice, and the ability to play several instruments, are sure signs that this motivated and inspirational singer-songwriter has what it takes to make her dream of becoming a star a reality.
As if her music career doesn’t keep her busy enough, during her senior year of high school in November 2012, Elsie created the “No Time for That” Tour presentation, of which is still offered free of charge. She is the Founder and CEO for the registered Canadian charity No Time for That Anti-Bullying Society, and a national ambassador for Kids Help Phone. Identifying as bisexual, Elsie continues to advocate for equality and LGBTQ+ rights. “I know how alone, misunderstood, and hurt I felt when I was being bullied, and I also know that there are thousands of others feeling the exact same way I did. No one deserves to feel that way.” Elsie tells her stories and experiences, and performs the songs that she has written which all relate to bullying, mental health awareness, and how to overcome tough times. She talks about what it’s like living with mental illness, explaining that even though she still struggles with depression and an anxiety disorder, it doesn’t define her. “I’ve learned that it’s okay not to be okay. Yes, I have some really bad days, but I also have really good days, and those good days are the days worth fighting for. Positivity is key and so is self-love.” It is so important to focus on the positive and what makes you happy, and to not let people or things bring you down. So far, this ambitious, inspirational girl has visited over 600 schools across Canada with the “No Time for That” Tour.
Securing numerous speaking engagements in addition to the school visits, Elsie has shared her story and songs with the President’s Breakfast Club – ATB Speaker Series at Webber Academy in Calgary, AB, momondays Halifax, Team Up to Clean Up with Take Pride Winnipeg at the MTS Centre, Valley Women’s Business Network AGM, Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce Young Business Leaders, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Small Business Forum, YMCA Power of Being a Girl Conferences, Catapult Leadership Camp, Generation XX Leadership Camp, Stomp Out Stigma Summit, Young Women’s Leadership Forum at Halifax City Hall, and Clara’s Big Ride with Olympian Clara Hughes.
She has been recognized as an Honourary Rotarian and has received the CAMH Difference Makers Award, Shaw’s 50 Outstanding Canadians Award, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia’s Outstanding Individual Award, the MCIC Global Citizenship Award, the Premier’s Healthy Living Award, the Volunteer Manitoba RBC Local Hero Award, the YMCA-YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Award, and has been nominated for the CBC Manitoba Future 40 Award and nominated as a Manitoba Hero in recognition of her effective presentation. Elsie hopes to continue to help and inspire as many people as possible with her message of empathy and empowerment.
Elsie Morden loves performing as much as she loves helping people. She is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and is keen on respecting and protecting the environment. Overall, Elsie serves as an ideal role model, and there is no doubt that she will continue to inspire all!