Bruce Okabe, Age: 58
Influential because: He’s put Alberta on the world map
Remember the video “Remember to Breathe”? Yeah, so do a lot of people – all over the world. And Bruce Okabe was behind it. Travel Alberta’s three-minute video, from 2011, featured terrific cinematography and highlighted hidden gems and lesser-known stories from every corner of the province. It won praise from around the world, too, taking home the best tourism video at the International Tourism Fair in Berlin in 2012. The video has now racked up 2.7 million hits on YouTube, and was followed up by “There Is,” a similar – and similarly effective – video.
But Okabe has influence that goes much deeper than leading an effective marketing campaign. He is the founding CEO of Travel Alberta, which was created as a Crown corporation in 2009. He has fashioned the organization into a nimble, creative, effective agency. And he’s pushed for new attractions to be developed in the province, culminating in May with the opening of the stunning Glacier Skywalk, in Jasper National Park.