Morden, Manitoba

Morden, Manitoba
—  Town  —
Town of Morden

Motto: See History Unfold
Morden is located in Manitoba
Location of Morden in Manitoba
Coordinates: 49°11′31″N 98°06′02″W / 49.19194°N 98.10056°W / 49.19194; -98.10056
Country Canada
Region Pembina Valley
Rural Municipality Stanley
Established 1882
Incorporated 1895 (village)
1903 (town)
 - Mayor Ken Wiebe
 - Governing Body Morden Town Council
 - MP (Portage—Lisgar) Candice Hoeppner (CPC)
 - MLA (Pembina) Peter George Dyck (PC)
 - Total 12.44 km2 (4.8 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - Total 6,571 (9th)
 - Density 401/km2 (1,038.6/sq mi)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Website Town of Morden

Morden is a small town with a population of 6571 (2006) located in the Pembina Valley region of southern Manitoba, Canada. Morden is less than ten minutes (car drive) west of neighbouring Winkler, and a relatively short distance (by car) to Pembina Valley Provincial Park. It lies within the Rural Municipality of Stanley.



Originally called Cheval, Morden can be considered to have been born in 1882, when the Canadian Pacific Railway built a railroad through the very spot where Morden now exists. The Mort Cheval Creek intersected the railway at what was called Cheval. This spot became a popular resting place as it was ideal to provide water for drinking and locomotives. The spot was renamed to Morden and incorporated as a municipality on January 1, 1882.[1]


Morden's chief transport connection to other communities is the highway system. Winnipeg is accessible from Morden via PTH 3. Residents can cross the Canada-U.S. border via PTH 75 or through PTH 32 via Winkler. A 4-lane divided highway connects Morden and the other major city of the region, Winkler.

Morden is served by a small rural airport, Morden Regional Aerodrome, not serviced by major airlines. The airport has two parallel 1212m asphalt runways and a 914-meter grass strip runway.

The town has one taxi service, Boundary Trails Taxi. It is also served by Greyhound Lines, which operates a daily bus service to and from Winnipeg during the week. Many Winnipeg courier services also serve Morden during weekdays.

Morden is bisected by a Canadian Pacific railway south of Stephen Street, running East-West. The Boundary Trail Railway interlines with the Canadian Pacific in Morden.

Government and politics

Morden is governed by a mayor and six councillors who are elected by residents. The current mayor of Morden is Ken Wiebe. The current councillors of Morden are Maurice Butler, Heather Francis, Doug Frost, Hank Hildebrand, Brian Minaker, and Irvin Wiebe.

Morden is represented in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba (as part of the Pembina riding) by Progressive Conservative MLA Peter George Dyck and in the Canadian House of Commons (as part of the Portage—Lisgar riding) by Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner.


Morden's public school system is the Western School Division, which consists of two elementary schools - Maple Leaf Elementary School and Minnewasta Elementary School, one middle school, École Morden Middle School, one high school, Morden Collegiate Institute and an Adult Education center. There are no private schools operating within the town.

Red River Technical Vocational Area has partnered with Western School Division to provide further opportunities to its Secondary-level students. The Campus Manitoba program also provides assistance to students in Morden and area who desire to obtain Post-Secondary education.

In December 2005, philanthropist John Buhler donated $5 million to the Western school division for the purpose of building a large performing arts centre. This was to be the largest ever private gift to a Canadian public school. However, accusations of cost overruns and opposition to the gift from many people in the town led to the school division abandoning the project in 2008, to Buhler's dismay. The $1.25 million that had already been handed over was not refunded, and was used by the school for other purposes. Purportedly, many residents said they did not want the performing arts centre, and still others demanded he use the money to build the town a pool instead.[2]

Local media

Morden's local newspapers include The Morden Times, published weekly and distributed by carrier to Morden area households, and The Winkler-Morden Voice, also published weekly and distributed by mail to households in both Winkler and Morden and many surrounding smaller communities. The Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Sun are available daily.

Nearby Winkler is home to two radio stations of its own, both of which are owned and operated by Altona-based Golden West Broadcasting. CKMW, a country music station, was established in 1980 and broadcasts at 1570 kHz on the AM dial. CJEL, an adult contemporary music station branded as The Eagle 93.5, launched in 2000 and is the only FM radio station in the Pembina Valley.

Though they are not based in Winkler, several other radio stations are notable around the Morden-Winkler area. The signal from Golden West's easy listening radio station in Altona, CFAM 950 AM, reaches the Winkler area. Two North Dakota stations near the Canada/U.S. border also reach Winkler: KAOC 105.1 FM (Maverick 105), a country music station in Cavalier and KYTZ 106.7 FM (Z-106.7, Today's Best Hits), an adult contemporary music station in Walhalla. The former station sells advertisements targeting the Pembina Valley region and maintains an advertising sales office in Morden. Radio stations from Winnipeg and Grand Forks, North Dakota can also be received sometimes.

Culture and tourism

Every year on the last weekend of August, Morden holds the Corn and Apple Festival where those who attend can enjoy free corn and apple cider, among other activities.

Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre

Morden is home to the largest collection of marine reptile fossils in Canada, located at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre.[3] Their collection includes an 11-metre-long mosasaur, approximately 80 million years old.[4]

The town also houses the Pembina Hills Art Gallery. A non-profit community organization, the art gallery aims to facilitate the growth and diversity of the arts in the Pembina Valley region.

Morden designated a "Cultural Capital of Canada for 2008"

Morden was designated a Cultural Capital, in the under 50,000 category, for 2008. This honour was bestowed upon the town by Beverly J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, as well as Brian Pallister who is a member of parliament.[5]

Morden received this award based on the town's emphasis on art and culture in the community. This includes hosting various festivals such as the Back Forty Festival, which highlights aboriginal influences in the community. The award also takes into account proposed projects, that the community has undertaken, in an effort to place art and culture in high esteem among its townspeople.

The town receives special funding as recognition for this award. For its category, Morden may receive up to $500,000 in funding. The money has been designated to go towards a new performing arts centre, as well as four murals for the community.

Corn and Apple Festival

The very first Corn and Apple Festival, held in 1967, was intended to celebrate Canada's centennial. The festival name was coined after the prairies long growing season, especially when it came to corn and apples. The festival has continued on since 1967 and is now recognized as the town's annual festival.

The festival is held in the centre of town, along main street, as it symbolizes "the heart of the community".[6] Every year visitors come from all over Canada to participate in the festivities. Visitors can expect delicious food, free corn and apple cider, as well as the borscht donated by a nearby Hutterite colony, which, in recent years, has become a staple in the festival. Also featured is live entertainment, craft shows, and more. The festival also boasts the largest parade in Manitoba.[citation needed]

Noteworthy appearances at past festivals include; Kenny Byrka, Lou Gramm, Prairie Oyster, Colin James, Dr. Hook, Randy Bachman, The Wilkinsons and Dear Screaming.

Notable residents

The following people of note were born in Morden or consider it their hometown:


Morden had a population of 6,571 people in 2006, which was an increase of 6.7% from the 2001 census count. The median household income in 2005 for Morden was $42,395, which is below the Manitoba provincial average of $47,875.[7]


Climate data for Morden
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.9
Average high °C (°F) −11
Daily mean °C (°F) −15.6
Average low °C (°F) −20.1
Record low °C (°F) −42
Precipitation mm (inches) 19.2
Sunshine hours 114.6 129.9 156.8 218.2 266.3 272.1 308.3 280.1 186.5 149.8 95.8 93.5 2,271.9
Source: Environment Canada[8]


External links

Coordinates: 49°11′31″N 98°06′02″W / 49.19194°N 98.10056°W / 49.19194; -98.10056

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