Meet the Faces Behind NFOTA: Ken Morden

Ken serves on the NFOTA Steering Committee and is working on Fundraising and Sponsorships

Ken with his dogs

Who you are ?

I’m an aspiring author who loves living on a 100-acre farm in the Northumberland Hills with my wife Caroline and two dogs. Previous incarnations have included ownership of a horse breeding farm and a marketing company, president of a printing company, VP Finance of a steel company and executive with a Canadian Bank. The common denominator of all positions has been the opportunity to create something new (except at the bank – poor choice on my part). Writing (and all art genres) is the ultimate creative pursuit – everything involved in writing is original.

Why do you believe in NFOTA?

The Northumberland Festival of the Arts provides a forum for artists of every genre to showcase their work and receive recognition for their creative talents whether it be by sales, audience reaction, publicity or general discussion with the attendees. This event could be the best way for any artist to publicize what they are creating.

What are your passions and talents?

I have now settled upon writing novels as my “passion.” My writing began as a project 15 years ago when I decided to write the early history of the Morden family who were United Empire Loyalists. Work, family, travel, hobbies, farming and social occasions hampered the effort until three years ago when I revived the Morden project. I had written short stories for my own interest up until then but how hard could it be to write a book?

Two years later I found out, but by then I was hooked. I loved the combination of research and making a story come alive with words. The most difficult thing was imparting feelings, emotions, reactions, etc. into the story, but I am fascinated with how to do it and how it can never be good enough. The great writers are great for a reason – they bring you into the story – intimately. I’m getting better.

My current objective is to write 5 books and then evaluate my level of success. To date I have completed one book, am 90% finished with two more, have a current one 30% finished and am looking for an idea for the fifth, The objective is to have all of them done by year end. I do self- publishing since I don’t think they are good enough for the professional publishing houses. I am a member of 2 writing groups, and their feedback is both invaluable and absolutely essential for me to keep going.

What are your roots and groups?

I have lived here for 25 years. Over 10 years ago I was recruited to the Board of Friends Of Music, primarily because of my business background. FOM had been operating for over 40 years with the purpose to bring nationally and internationally recognized classical music artists to Port Hope. The organization had been highly successful with over 400 members at one time. We presented five concerts a year attracting artists such as Angela Hewitt, Tafelmusik, the TSO – over 200 artists over the years. A year later I was elected President and, with impeccable timing, presided over the slow decline in classical music interest and membership. We tried to counteract this by engaging more avant-garde artists, more interactive and multi-media performances and an expanded offering to include jazz, dance and percussion. Nothing we tried stopped the downturn so we decided to suspend presentations two years ago and use our funds to support local groups. The initial group that we chose was Spirit of the Hills.

Early in 2020 we made a deal with the Capitol Theatre whereby they hosted two classical performances a year and we supplied the artists. Then COVID struck!

What does art mean to you?

Art is anything that is the result of creative thinking.

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