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Amnesty International

Images Model Management


Lisa Moreau
Four years ago Pat Collins was ready to quit the business. With her husband John, she went to the mountain resort town of Jasper, Alberta to figure out where things were heading, and by the time they got back there was a personal ultimatum: she needed to get ten models out that year. "That year I got 20 models out on contract."

"Do I plan on being around in 15 or 20 years? I can't see myself ever quitting the business. It has been a joke, and I do say it lightly, but I am addicted. I don't think there is anybody in the business that doesn't have an addition to it. I don't smoke it, I don't shoot it and I don't drink it but I live it 24/7 and I can't see myself quitting."

Another thing Collins won't be doing is dramatically expanding. She has recently recruited help in the form of one of her original models, Lisa Moreau. But Collins is more than happy to manage her enterprise from home, where it all started.

When Collins left Vancouver in the eighties to return to her hometown of Calgary, she offered runway classes in her basement. The fee: $5.00. Drop-in. "It was just through word-of-mouth - I never advertised. Then some of the models decided they wanted to do stuff locally, so I opened up in my first location which was the old Bank of Montreal Building on 8th Avenue."

Before long Collins had a full modelling school and agency, complete with curriculum and full staging. After a while though, she decided the big production wasn't worth it. "I think there are enough agencies here - more than enough to deal with the little bit of work we have. I don't miss the overhead, I don't miss having to sell somebody a course, having to make sure rent is paid. Not at all. Not at all. I can get up at 7:00 in the morning and sit with a cup of coffee in my housecoat and do my work in my office, or I can work until 2:00 in the morning. When I had an office I would work until 2:00 in the morning and then have to take a cab home. So I much prefer this. It works out a lot cheaper for the models as well."