Chris Buyze, Age: 35
Hometown: Regina
Influential because: He convinces powerful people to build a better city

Rogers Place, the arena being built by the Katz Group and the City of Edmonton, will be a better building thanks to Chris Buyze. When the original drawings for the building were released back in 2010, the Downtown Edmonton Community League – now led by Buyze – mobilized a pushback that saw the Katz Group change the design to a more street-focused one. Victory.

But it’s the way Buyze does it all – soft-spoken but confident in what’s right – that marks him for bigger things. This year, not wanting his drive for a more pedestrian-focused city to go ignored during the municipal elections, Buyze helped steer former Edmonton Journal columnist Scott McKeen’s successful bid for city council. Buyze is also a driving force behind a much-needed park in downtown Edmonton, for the use of the thousands of new residents about to live, like he’s done for a decade, in a downtown condominium.