Shannon and Chip Wilson, the couple behind Vancouver-based yoga clothing maker Lululemon Athletica, are donating $12 million to help build a new school of design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced Friday that the province will partner with the couple, their company, and the school to build the new facility and "position B.C. as a global hub of design expertise." It will be named the Shannon and Chip Wilson School of Design.
Clark said the cost of the $36-million project at the Richmond campus will be split equally among the three partners. The province and the school will fund up to $12 million each, while $8 million is coming from the Wilsons and $4 million from Lululemon.
"Our province is the perfect testing ground for technical apparel -- you don't have to go far to find inspiration," said Shannon Wilson, who was the primary designer at Lululemon, in a news release. "Our vision is for B.C. to become the global hub for athletic performance apparel and recreational products, and the first step is to provide a place to cultivate design talent."
The project is scheduled to break ground in the fall of 2013 with an opening date of September 2015. The design school is slated to increase Kwantlen's design students by 57 per cent.
The Wilsons are also behind imagine1day, a charity that aims to provide quality education to every child in Ethiopia.