A former Transcona resident has a hand in Winnipeg’s first Paracon event.
Chris Kehler, who has a holistic medicine practice in St. Vital and now lives in Riverbend, is one of 11 featured speakers who will grace the stage at the Marlborough Hotel at 331 Smith St. during the conference, slated for July 12 to 14.
Kehler said his presentation will revolve around how spirits can affect people’s health.
"If they’re within your brain or head area, they can cause you migraines," said Kehler, who works out of the Kas-Sky Wholistic Health Care Centre at 561 St. Anne’s Rd. "It can cause almost anything, really."
Kehler said this Paracon will be the first at which he’s presented, and he describes himself as an "energy worker" who works "energy against energy" in order to help make clients feel better.
Event organizers Alphonse (Fonsie) and Sharon (Shazz) Granger have been working since 2011 to put together the inaugural event.
Sharon initially got the idea shortly after both her parents died within months of each other and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She talked to a friend, Tim Maile, the lead investigator with the Fox Cities Paranormal team in Wisconsin, just to gauge his interest in attending a conference. He said he was in, and within two days, Sharon — now cancer-free — had 10 speakers lined up. Though some of the lineup has since changed, the roster features 11 presenters, including Keith Age from Louisville, Ky.
The Grangers are veterans of Paracons elsewhere, including their first in Gettysburg, Pa. in 2008, noting they were able to get a feel for what to provide at their own event.
They say one doesn’t necessarily need to be in the supernatural scene in order to enjoy such conferences.
"The speakers are pretty involved with their audience," said Sharon. "(Radio show host) Scotty Rorek will probably be grabbing a few of the audience members and taking them into the Windsor Room for a private reading."
Aside from presentations, Friday night will bring a meet-and-greet with the speakers, while Saturday night will offer an investigation of the hotel for VIP guests.
Sharon acknowledged there is another local group called Spirit Seekers who hold conferences at the Fort Garry Hotel, but she and Alphonse are excited about checking out the Marlborough to see what it offers.
"As paranormal investigators, when we enter a building like this, we prefer to know nothing," said Alphonse. "We prefer not to know and see what we find."
In addition to the camaraderie of the community, there is also a charitable aspect. There will be a 50/50 to raise money to save local heritage buildings, while Maile will sign pictures alongside his dog, Murray, with proceeds going toward D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre.
Day passes are $45, weekend passes are $80, and VIP passes are $120. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.paracon.ca">www.paracon.ca</a>.