The Christchurch Civic Music Council was started in 1941, to continue the work of the Christchurch Festival Committee and was the first of its kind founded in New Zealand.

It began its life as the Canterbury Music Festival Committee but some time after and especially upon incorporation and later registration as a charity it became known by its current official name, Christchurch Civic Music Council Inc.

The organisation comprises Affiliate members who are the lifeblood of Canterbury’s music and related worlds.  The council runs the National Concerto Competition and supplies pianos and a harpsicord for concert venues as well as offering assistance to scholars (through sponsors including The Ruby Hay Prize and the Ernest Empson Scholarship for example) for which CCMC provides administrative support and/or with which it is connected. The CCMC also spearheaded fundraising to install the iconic Rieger pipe organ in the Christchurch Town Hall.

Assistance from the Christchurch City Council was a vital foundation stone at the time it was founded and, thankfully, this close fellowship continues to this day.

In practice, whilst the legal name continues, the term Canterbury Music reflects the scope of the Council’s endeavours and can be regarded as its popular nickname.