The electoral district has been a stronghold for right leaning parties. Social Credit briefly held the district from 1971 to 1975 and the Progressive Conservatives have held the district uninterrupted until the 2015 provincial election, when the seat was won by NDP candidate Deborah Drever.
The electoral district was created in the 1971 boundary redistribution from Calgary West and Calgary Bowness.
The 2010 boundary redistribution significantly changed the riding. The western boundaries were altered to conform to the new Calgary city limits which had been expanded since 2003. The riding lost all land that was east of Sarcee Trail and North of the Bow River to the electoral districts of Calgary-Currie and Calgary-Varsity. The district was also expanded south into land that used to be in Calgary-West up to the new south boundary of Bow Trail / 12 Street SW.
Legal description from the Statutes of Alberta 2003, Electoral Divisions Act.
Starting at the intersection of Stoney Trail NW with Scenic Acres Link NW; then 1. northeast along Scenic Acres Link NW to the intersection with Scurfield Drive NW; 2. north and east along Scurfield Drive NW to the intersection with Scenic Acres Boulevard NW; 3. southeast along Scenic Acres Boulevard NW to the intersection with Nose Hill Drive NW; 4. north along Nose Hill Drive NW to the intersection with Crowchild Trail NW; 5. southeast along Crowchild Trail NW to the intersection with Silver Springs Gate NW; 6. south and west along Silver Springs Gate NW to the intersection with Silver Springs Boulevard NW; 7. south along Silver Springs Boulevard NW and its extension to the right bank of the Bow River; 8. south and east along the right bank of the Bow River to the westerly extension of 32 Avenue NW; 9. east along the extension and 32 Avenue NW to Shaganappi Trail NW; 10. south along Shaganappi Trail NW to the southeasterly extension of 23 Avenue NW; 11. northwest along the extension and 23 Avenue NW to the intersection with 48 Street NW; 12. southwest along 48 Street NW to its intersection with Bowness Road NW; 13. west along Bowness Road NW to its intersection with Home Road NW; 14. south along Home Road NW and its extension to the right bank of the Bow River; 15. southeast along the right bank of the Bow River to the northerly extension of 37 Street SW; 16. south along the extension and 37 Street SW to 8 Avenue SW; 17. west along 8 Avenue SW to 45 Street SW; 18. south along 45 Street SW to 17 Avenue SW; 19. west along 17 Avenue SW and its westerly extension to Sarcee Trail SW; 20. north and northwest along Sarcee Trail to the intersection with the north boundary of the south half of Sec. 26, Twp. 24, Rge. 2 W5; 21. west along the north boundary of the south half of Secs. 26, 27 and 28 to the west Calgary city boundary; 22. north, west, north and east along the west city boundary to the left bank of the Bow River; 23. east along the left bank of the Bow River to its intersection with Stoney Trail NW; 24. north along Stoney Trail NW to the starting point.
The electoral district of Calgary-Bow was created in the 1971 boundary redistribution from the electoral districts of Calgary West and Calgary Bowness.
The election held that year was won by Social Credit candidate Roy Wilson. He won the district in a closely contested election over Progressive Conservative Bill Wearmouth taking just under half the popular vote. The win came despite the Social Credit party losing government that year. The race was reached a record for turnout in the district that hasn't been matched since.
Wilson ran for his second term in 1975 but was defeated by Progressive Conservative candidate Neil Webber. He would be re-elected with a landslide majority in 1979 and be appointed to the provincial cabinet under Peter Lougheed after the election.
Webber would be re-elected two more times in 1982 and 1986. He won the highest popular vote of his career and in the districts history in the 1982 election. Weber would keep his cabinet post after Don Getty became Premier in 1985 but he decided not to run for re-election and retired at dissolution.
After Wilson retired and the electoral district returned Progressive Conservative candidate Bonnie Laing who won a very close race over former Calgary Alderman Tim Bardsley in the 1986 election. She would hold the district for two more terms before retiring.
The current representative is Alana DeLong who was first elected to her first term in 2001 and has been returned twice more in the 2004 and 2008 elections.
On November 19, 2004 a Student Vote was conducted at participating Alberta schools to parallel the 2004 Alberta general election results. The vote was designed to educate students and simulate the electoral process for persons who have not yet reached the legal majority. The vote was conducted in 80 of the 83 provincial electoral districts with students voting for actual election candidates. Schools with a large student body that reside in another electoral district had the option to vote for candidates outside of the electoral district then where they were physically located.