Growing up in the gold-mining town
of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Tom Collins never expected to emerge as one of
the most prominent men in figure skating. The way he tells it, it's
amazing he ever got involved in the sport at all.
"We had nothing," Collins said of his childhood days. "We used to
hang our socks on the side of the rail of the stove so they would dry. We
wore out four sides of each sock before we threw them out."
Following in his father's footsteps, Collins even spent a couple of
summers working in the mines. But he used the money he earned to pay for
skating lessons and made his way into the touring world as a show skater.
Eventually, he transitioned from skating in shows to producing them. This
year, Collins will celebrate the 25th year of his touring production,
Champions on Ice.
"I can't believe it. I really can't," he said of reaching this milestone
year. "But I enjoy it as much today as I did when I first started."
Collins - Skate Canada Hall of Fame member
This builder's involvement in skating has spanned more than 50 years,
from a Northern Ontario novice skating champion in the 1940s, to his
role as a visionary and promoter in the world of modern ice shows.
Joining Sonja Henie's Hollywood Ice Revue in 1949, he moved over to
Holiday on Ice in 1951, rising up through the ranks from skater to tour
manager and then producer. Developing a skating tour to highlight the
many talents of national and international skating stars, his 'Tour of
World Figure Skating Champions' and 'Champions on Ice' provided a new
concept in figure skating shows. With an emphasis on quality production
and a high-level of skating talent, he launched the careers of hundreds
of skating stars and promoted skating to millions of people.
Never forgetting who made these shows the success they were, his role as
a benefactor has resulted in ongoing substantial financial contributions
to the CFSA Athlete Trust.
Today Tom Collins has
partnered with Michael Collins and the prominent entertainment producer
Lee Marshall to form
Collins-Marshall Management. They say they are the first company
specifically providing management and marketing services to figure
skaters. Tom Collins serves as Chairman.