From a casual conversation at an Alberta Music Educator's Conference at the Banff Centre in the early 1990's, the idea of a local music festival for the Bow Valley took root. The idea came from the desire of private music educators in the valley to connect and to provide a performance motivation for their young music students, as the nearest festival of this kind at the time was the Kiwanis Music Festival in Calgary.Two piano teachers met again years later and started the planning process for the first Bow Valley Music Festival, later joined by other volunteers. The first event was held in Canmore in May, 2010, at St. Michael's Anglican Church. Music teachers in the valley unanimously agreed it was a good idea and many entered their students for a successful first year event.
The festival continued to grow each year and now utilizes the venues of St. Michael’s Anglican Church as well as artsPlace in Canmore, with many classes running simultaneously.