Canadian Bow Maker Michael Vann was trained in New York City in the shop of the world renowned master Bow Maker William Salchow. Since embarking on his career in 1975 he has won six international and more than a dozen Canadian awards for his bows which have been acquired by such notables as Pinchas Zukerman, Amanda Forsyth, Pierre Fournier, Ruggiero Ricci, Steven Dann, James Ehnes, Regis Pasquir, France, Steven Staryk, Canada, Eugene Fodor, USA, Jessica Linnebach, Canada, Dr Mark Lupin, Canada, Burkhart Godhoff, France, Sidney Harth, USA, Pieter Schoeman, France, Gwen Hoebig, Canada, Gabriel Magyar, (Hungarian String Quartet), Nikolaj Znaider, Denmark, Lena Neudauer, Germany, Nikki Chooi, Timmy Chooi, The New Brunswick String Quartet (Canada), The Franciscan String Quartet (U.S.A.) The Amernet String Quartet, USA, The Colorado Strings Quartet, (U.S.A.), The Manfred String Quartet. (France), The St. Lawrence String Quartet, Canada, The Miro String Quartet, USA,   The Daedalus String Quartet, USA, just to name a few.

He was also recently commissioned by a private foundation to make bows for the Royal House of Denmark.

His bows are in use by members of symphony orchestras in Amsterdam, Chicago, Montreal, New York, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Tokyo, China, Paris, Toulouse, Nice, Taiwan, Dusseldorf,  Victoria, and many others. 

His bows are also being sold in Japan and Europe.

He was commissioned to make the quartets of presentations bows for the Banff International String Quartet Competition from 1983 to 2003.

He makes conductor's batons for such maestros as Mario Bernardi, Bramwel Tovey.

Michael is married to violinist / teacher Dolores, former concertmaster of the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra. They make their home on GABRIOLA, a few minutes from Nanaimo, British Columbia.


Traveling with a bow and instrument has becoming increasingly difficult and even dangerous for those containing CITES listed or banned materials. Cut through the paperwork and worry with a bow specifically designed to allow you to travel with ease across international borders.

Ivory Frog Tortishell Whalebone

Bison Horn Frog Mother of Pearl Synthetic Opal


Ivory, Tortoiseshell, and Whalebone are just a few of the commonly used bow making materials that are tightly regulated by international law. Our bows use materials such as bison horn, silver, gold, mother of pearl, and synthetic opal.

Why a Michael Vann International Bow

Each bow is made with the same care and quality craftsmanship found in all Michael Vann bows. The sticks are traditional Pernambuco with frogs of either ebony or bison horn. The finishings can be gold, silver, silk, synthetic whalebone, bison horn, mother of pearl and synthetic opal. View our gallery of currently available bows below.

Violin bow with bison horn
Viola bow with ebony
Cello bow with ebony

More Information

Find more information on common bow making materials currently listed under CITES.

CITES Restricted Materials

Read more about how international regulations can affect you and how to find out more in Canada.

CITES and International Travel