The Federation of Music Festivals of Nova Scotia (FMFNS) was incorporated under the Societies Act of Nova Scotia on June 6th, 1980, and is recognized as a charitable organization. The Truro Music Festival, the oldest event of its kind in Atlantic Canada and the third oldest in the nation, began in 1922 with the first school music competitions.

In 1985, to comply with requirements set forth by Federation of Canadian Music Festivals (FCMF) for selection of national competitors, the society initiated the production of a separate and distinct Provincial Festival at St. Francis Xavier University. The following year a set of junior classes, designed as shadow classes, was added. This very popular innovation has enabled the participation of all local festivals and has increased the visibility and value of the Provincial Festival.

In 2002, FMFNS added both junior and senior Music Theatre classes, and in 2003 introduced junior and senior Classical Guitar to the competition.