In 1998, Atis Bankas came to Niagara-on-the-Lake with the dream of founding a music school and summer music festival. He had discovered the perfect location – one of Canada’s most beautiful towns on the shores of Lake Ontario at the mouth of the magnificent Niagara River, an area of great historical significance, surrounded by orchards and lush vineyards.
During the first years, the festival was small in scope. By the third season, audiences grew as residents and tourists began to discover the delights of the festival. The success of these early seasons moved Music Niagara (then known as the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival) to a new level of performance, with 2004 introducing more performances in the three-week festival and the introduction of several new long running series.