It was a rough end to 2013 for Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson.
In November, Wilson sparked controversy by suggesting to an interviewer that some women's bodies were to blame for the Vancouver-based company's see-through yoga pants fiasco. Then Wilson added fuel to the fire by releasing a pseudo-apology on video. In December, Lululemon announced Wilson will resign as its chair by June.
However, the Fraser Institute is giving Wilson something to smile about in 2014. The right-wing think tank has just announced it will present the Vancouver billionaire with its T. Patrick Boyle Founder’s Award in October.
According to the institute's website, "The T. Patrick Boyle Founder’s Award is given by the Fraser Institute to a distinguished individual who has achieved lasting and recognized accomplishments in the promotion of freedom and free markets, entrepreneurship, and philanthropic support for private sector, non-profit enterprises."
Past winners include Conrad Black, Ralph Klein, and Peter Munk. Margaret Thatcher received an honorary version of the award in 1993.
Want to attend Wilson's award tribute dinner? A "standard table" (10 tickets) will cost $5,000, while a "premium table" will go for $7,500.
Canadian Business has reported that Wilson is the 11th richest person in Canada, with a 2013 net worth of $3.7 billion.
A story in the March issue of the magazine questions whether Lululemon is "rapidly wearing out its welcome among consumers".