Ellen Koennecke is the recipient of the 2022 Order of Parry Sound.
The owner of Yoga in the Sound in downtown Parry Sound was given the award over the weekend by Mayor Jamie McGarvey at the Town’s Levee. Koennecke said she felt overwhelmed, humbled, enormously excited, and very proud as she accepted the honour.
Speaking about her speech with Moose FM, Koennecke says she sat down and thought of all of the therapists, fitness, help, and healing professions in town and how many people go above and beyond every day to help.
“We’ve been recognized for things that Parry Sound has found different but they’ve tried it out and people have committed to helping themselves and ultimately to helping others and we wouldn’t be where we are now without that,” she said.
Born and raised in Kitchener, Koennecke says she went to school as a physio and occupational therapist in Toronto.
“I was given yoga classes to help me deal with just the strenuous nature of the professions that I chose. I ended up meeting people who were working in the fields I now practice. [People] who were choosing to help people to enjoy their life, to recover more successfully from accident and injury, and to deal with a tremendous amount of stress. And so much of it was about good breath and simplicity and kindness and practice,” she says.
Koennecke has been in Parry Sound since 1995, starting off as a support worker in Indigenous communities doing research. “I still work for five or six indigenous communities as well as have my little Yoga Center which began in 2002,” she says.
The Order is appointed to someone who is a resident or contributed to the town of Parry Sound and through their work has made the town a better place. The motto for the Order is “they desire a better community.”
Last year’s recipient of the Order of Parry Sound was local paramedic/firefighter Jason Predie.