Blue Sky Miners perform with John Gogo at the Queen's on Aug. 19.

Blue Sky Miners perform with John Gogo at the Queen's on Aug. 19.

Band born out of chance encounters

Blue Sky Miners perform at the Queen’s on Wednesday night with John Gogo.

One day Jena Gogo was performing out front of the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria when she met vocalist and guitarist Jay Mitchell.

“He [Mitchell] was all dressed up in a three-piece suit and a top hat giving tours as Amor De Cosmos, Gogo said. “He heard me signing and actually came over and said hello and we started jamming.”

The two played together and eventually went their separate ways, occasionally running into each other.

Then one night Gogo, who was living in Toronto, was hosting her first live music night event at a bar in the city when Mitchell showed up.

“He was the first person who walked through the door,” Gogo said.

From then on the two began performing regularly and in 2013 they formed Blue Sky Miners, a Toronto-based folk-rock band.

“It was crazy,” Gogo said. “It was electric when we started writing together. He had been writing for a long time with a female voice in mind … and I had really been looking for someone to write with it.”

Today the Blue Sky Miners consists of  Gogo and Mitchell along with Eric Duquette, Mark Lavoie and Stefan Hegerat.

On Wednesday (Aug. 19), Blue Sky Miners will perform at the Queen’s. Their show in the Harbour City is one of the last stops on a Western Canadian tour that has mostly consisted of performances across Vancouver Island.

“It is super exciting because three of us grew up on the Island,” Gogo said.

For the band’s Island performances they have been joined by Gogo’s father, John, who is a cousin of David Gogo.

The band is gearing up for its debut EP titled Blue Sky Miners, which will be released in October.

“It is a collection of stories that are very much inspired by the West Coast,” Gogo said.

The band takes its name from the Midnight Oil song Blue Sky Mine, a tune  that Gogo heard frequently as a child.

“Wherever I was in the house I would stop whatever I was doing and dance like a crazy person,” Gogo said. “I really like that idea of not being able to help yourself and just having to dance.”

The name Blue Sky Miners is a tribute to Gogo’s family history.

“My family on the Island has a very long history of coal mining and logging and so that also fit in really well,” Gogo said. “It means a lot to me.”

Blue Sky Miners perform at the Queen’s at 7 p.m. The show is 19-plus.

For more information, please visit

arts@nanaimobulletin.comFollow @npescod on Twitter


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