The Ragged Flowers to hold benefit concert for hometown charity SchoolBOX

Almonte’s favourite five-piece alt-neo-psychedelic-folk-rock band, The Ragged Flowers, invites you to a night of groovy original music in support of the local charity SchoolBOX on Saturday, September 29 at the Almonte Old Town Hall.

Following a sold-out gig at the Cedar Hill School House in August where they unveiled several new songs, The Ragged Flowers are now channeling their musical energy into raising funds for SchoolBOX and the people of Nicaragua in a time of particularly great need.

SchoolBOX, the ‘little charity that could’, has been building educational infrastructure and providing school supplies to tens of thousands of children across Nicaragua since it was founded by Almonte’s Tom Affleck in 2006.

Nicaragua, once ranked the safest country in Central America, was rocked by protests and unrest in mid-April. As a result, SchoolBOX temporarily suspended its educational programming for the safety and security of its local staff and international volunteers. When the protests hit SchoolBOX was only a week away from completing construction of its 100th classroom, a remarkable milestone made possible with the generous support of many donors in Almonte, throughout the Ottawa Valley, and right across Canada.

“We are grateful to have such an outpouring of local community support for SchoolBOX during this difficult time”, said SchoolBOX’s Acting Executive Director, Jon Tam. “As soon as it is safe for our staff to return to the field, we will be working hard to complete our 100th classroom and bring classrooms, libraries, washrooms, and school supplies to communities across Nicaragua where there are needed now more than ever.”

The Ragged Flowers have been long-time supporters of SchoolBOX, with two of its members, Nathan Sloniowski and Ian Douglas, having travelled to Nicaragua with their families. Sloniowski even wrote a song in Managua about his experiences called “Ron’s Journey”. The song sets to music the life story of SchoolBOX’s Nicaraguan Director Ronald Chavarria who was the first member of his family to get an education and break the cycle of poverty.

Seasoned fans, or “Ragged Gardeners”, know that tickets for the band’s latest show will sell out fast, so don’t wait to get your seats! Tickets can be purchased online at or at Baker Bob’s & Equator Coffee Roasters in Almonte. The show costs $40 per person and each ticket holder will receive a $20 charitable tax receipt from SchoolBOX.

About SchoolBOX:

SchoolBOX is committed to ‘Making Education Possible’ for the children of Nicaragua. SchoolBOX implements cost effective programming by building schools, providing school supplies, libraries, and teacher training. SchoolBOX has built 99 classrooms, 75 libraries, and 59 washrooms in Nicaragua and serves over 20,000 students and teachers in 108 communities on an annual basis.

The SchoolBOX community is united in love for the children it serves and the belief that education can defeat poverty. SchoolBOX is comprised of thousands of people from different faiths and socioeconomic backgrounds. It empowers educators and students, and they in turn empower their communities and change the world.

About The Ragged Flowers

With two studio CDs and a live concert CD under their belts, CBC-FM and CKCU-FM radio play, plus concert appearances at festivals including Blue Skies and Stuart Park, The Ragged Flowers are celebrating 21 years of band brotherhood and collective song-making.

Original members include: Rhythm-master Ian Douglas, who contributes an African/Latin groove with his tribal array of hand-drums, and his low, mysterious voice. He also contributes keyboard virtuosity. Steve Reside brings radiance to his high-energy vocals and striking harmonies, set against the warmth of his acoustic rhythm guitar plus assorted shakers and percussion. Acoustic and electric bass man Rob Riendeau provides a sliding carpet of low-end grooves to root The Ragged Flowers’ sound firmly in the earth. Nathan Sloniowski’s acoustic and electric guitars and uke add to the fretted depth along as well as his evocative, powerful vocals. George Birchall is the newest member of The Ragged Flowers. A multi-instrumentalist, George adds vocals, guitar, keyboards, and melodica to the band.


Jonathan Tam – Acting Executive Director

(613) 869-8185