Born in Vancouver, raised on Canada's west coast and in England, Joely Collins is the daughter of environmental activist Andrea Collins and musician Phil Collins. She began her acting career with dramatic studies at The Vancouver Youth Theater, then at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England. At the age of 22, she was named Canada's Best Leading Actress, earning a Gemini Award for her work.
Collins formed Wunderkind Productions Inc. in 1997 and the company's first production was Summer Love: The Documentary, which she produced, directed, wrote and starred in. The feature-length documentary earned two Leo Award nominations.