Metro/Jennifer Gauthier Chris Boyd, left, and Jordan Birch kick off their 11th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at the Commodore Ballroom Friday night.

What started out as a hokey high school theme party 11 years ago in the Tri-Cities and later morphed into a sold-out annual Christmas tradition at the Commodore Ballroom now has its own day in the City of Vancouver.

Ugly Sweater DayMayor Gregor Robertson has proclaimed Friday the first ever Ugly Christmas Sweater Day at the request of the city’s signature sweater party founders, Jordan Birch and Chris Boyd.

“We feel that the sweater, it’s not just a trend or a fad or a fashion statement, we call it the Ugly Christmas Sweater because we feel it symbolizes Christmas spirit,” Birch told Metro on Thursday.

“Our core values, or the four elements of Christmas spirit that the sweater represents, would be to connect with those that matter, give to those less fortunate, reconnect with someone you were once close to, and be kind to everyone.”

This year’s sold-out soirée on the Granville strip will attract 1,100 terribly dressed but very cozy revellers to dance, drink and be merry, and has already raised nearly $20,000 for various worthy causes.

In keeping with the four elements of the Christmas spirit, Birch and Boyd have also been performing one small act of kindness every day for the past 21 leading up to the big night.

They believe the city’s stamp of approval will help them spread their message.

“It now gives everybody an opportunity to participate, so you don’t necessarily have to have a ticket to the benefit to be a part of it,” Birch said.

“You can put it on and you can live out those four elements and do something without expecting anything in return.”

Check back here on Saturday to see a photo gallery chock full of ugly Christmas sweaters that Metro readers have generously submitted.

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