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."
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 No Time for That Anti-Bullying Society and a youth ambassador for Kids Help Phone. "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 500 schools across Canada with the "No Time for That" Tour. She has received the CAMH Difference Makers Award, Shaw's 50 Outstanding Canadians 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 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!
Elsie Morden is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and motivational speaker.
Born in Manitoba, raised in British Columbia and Manitoba, currently living in Nova Scotia.
KIDS HELP PHONE YOUTH AMBASSADOR
❤ Governor General's Academic Medal
❤ CAMH Difference Makers Award
❤ Shaw's 50 Outstanding Canadians Award
❤ Premier's Healthy Living Award
❤ MCIC Global Citizenship Award
❤ Volunteer Manitoba RBC Local Hero Award
❤ YMCA-YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Award
❤ Canaan Country Horizon Artist Contest - 2nd Place
❤ Music Nova Scotia Country Recording of the Year
Award Nomination for "Elsie Morden"
❤ MCMA Female Artist of the Year Award Nomination
❤ MCMA Emerging Artist of the Year Award Nomination
❤ MCMA Song of the Year (Songwriter) Award Nomination
for "Be Mine"
❤ MCMA Music Video of the Year Award Nomination
for "Be Mine"
❤ MCMA Album of the Year Award Nomination
for "Elsie Morden"
❤ MCMA Fans' Choice Award Nomination
❤ Manitoba Hero Award Nomination
❤ CBC Manitoba Future 40 Award Nomination
❤ Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Award Nomination
"You need to, you have to, find that thing or the things in your life that make you happy - the positive, what you love to do, and focus on that. Follow your dreams and surround yourself with people who are going to support your dreams, people who care about you, and accept you for who you are. Don't let people or things bring you down because it is not worth it!"
"I realized that I have the strength inside of me to get through absolutely anything, and so do you! Never, never, never give up."
"We are all going to have some really bad days, but we also going to have some really good days, and those good days are the days worth fighting for.”
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"Music is so powerful and it has the amazing ability to heal. I think that's definitely why I turned to music and songwriting. I love the way that you can tell a story through songs and express your thoughts, feelings, and emotions so that it's relatable to the listener. Music saved my life and I hope that my music can do the same for others."
"We can't change negative people or events, but we can totally change the way we are affected by them."
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"Every person has the potential to offer something great to their community and to the world, which is why it's so important to not let bullying and the stigma surrounding mental illness prevent them from making a positive contribution!"
"My family has a history of mental illness and I have been through some traumatic events. Growing up I was bullied excessively, I was punched in the face, my house burnt down in a forest fire, I attended 8 different schools, I was locked in a gas station during a robbery, and I've been in two car accidents; I still get nightmares and get anxious if something reminds me of any of those experiences. I've dealt with depression and an anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember, and I still struggle with both, especially anxiety. I second guess almost everything, I worry a lot, I cry easily, I make a big deal out of things, and my mind is always racing. Even just the thought of losing control or not having control scares me, I need to know what's going on at all times and that everything is going as planned. Most nights I lay awake for hours before I can fall asleep, and most mornings I can hardly bring myself to get out of bed because I'm feeling so down. Sometimes I get so stressed out that my chest tightens and I can't breathe properly. My thoughts become too overwhelming and it feels like the world is caving in on me. Every so often, I will have a panic attack. It's exhausting. I'm also extremely co-dependent; I like pleasing people and making others happy. Even if I'm really hurting inside, I'll have a smile on my face and I'll still act very bubbly; I tend to overcompensate because I want people to like me. I'm a perfectionist, and I have to continually remind myself that no one is perfect, including me, so I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself. 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. I have grown a lot and am continuing to grow as a person, develop self-appreciation, and get stronger. Ending the stigma surrounding mental illness and opening up about mental health is so important; we need to respect, support, love, and care for each other. Mental illness doesn't define me. I am proud of the person that I have become. I am proud to be me."