Lululemon Founder UVic's 2012 Distinguished Entrepreneur

Chip Wilson, founder and chair of the board of directors of yoga-wear giant Lululemon Athletica, has been named UVic’s Gustavson School of Business Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year.

“Chip Wilson exemplifies the values of a visionary entrepreneur,” says Peter B. Gustavson, founder and chair of the Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award (DEYA) committee. “He turned a passion for health and fitness into a world-wide movement and has inspired countless others through his unique outlook and commitment to quality.

 His values permeate everything he does,” says Gustavson. “We tell our students to do something they are passionate about,” says Dr. Ali Dastmalchian, dean of the business school. “Chip is an excellent role model for them — he's built an enormously successful organization doing what he loves.”

Wilson founded Lululemon in 1998 and opened its first store in Kitsilano in 2000. The company now has 191 stores and showrooms across Canada and the US and in Australia, China, and New Zealand. Before creating Lululemon, he founded Westbeach Snowboard Ltd., a Vancouver-based surf, skate and snowboard retailer, prior to that he worked in Alberta’s oil and gas industry.

Wilson who says he lives and breathes the athletic clothing business also gives back to community. He established the annual “Chip’s Not Dead Yet Memorial Mile” run to raise funds for the BC Children’s Hospital and the imagine1day charity that works to provide every child in Ethiopia a quality education.

Wilson studied at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary where he graduated with a BA in economics; his wife Shannon graduated from UVic’s Fine Arts program. Wilson’s vision and entrepreneurial accomplishments will be celebrated at the annual DEYA gala on June 7, 2012 in Victoria.

He is the ninth DEYA recipient and joins a select circle of distinguished entrepreneurs including: JR Shaw, founder of Shaw Communications Inc. (2011); the late Alex Campbell, co-founder Thrifty Foods (2010); Sir Terence Matthews, a technology entrepreneur and investor in telecommunication ventures (2009); Clive Beddoe, a founding shareholder and executive chair of WestJet (2008); and David Black, founder of Canada’s largest privately-owned newspaper publishing company (2007); Gwyn Morgan, who established EnCana Corp. as the country's largest energy compnay (2006); David Ritchie, chair emeritus of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (2005); and Jeff Mallett, former president and chief operating officer of Yahoo! (2004).To be added to the waiting list for DEYA gala tickets contact 250-721-6406 or


Media contacts: Ali Dastmalchian (Gustavson School of Business) at (250) 721-6422 or Dianne George (Gustavson Communications) at (250) 721-6411 or Follow us on Twitter at UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available at