The Avondale Press was founded by Ron Napier in 1973 as a hobby. At first he published a few books such as his own A Guide to Canada's Composers, Joseph Macerollo's Accordion Resource Book, and Gerda Nielsen's A New Guide to Good Singing now, sadly, all out of print but still available in libraries. He began publishing music in 1986 after he retired. As an amateur recorder player, he naturally turned to music for recorder and recorder ensembles, including some of his own arrangements. He also published a number of works by Canadian composers such as Barbara Pentland and Jean Coulthard.

Ron Napier and Kathryn Cernauskas met through their involvement with the Canadian Music Centre.  When Kathryn embarked on a project to copy some handwritten manuscripts of Barbara Pentland's music into computer music notation for the Canadian Music Centre, Ron agreed to act as proofreader.

In the fall of 2005, when the winter rains began in North Vancouver, Ron and his wife decided the time had come to move to sunnier climes and Kathryn took over The Avondale Press.