Helen Rice, Age: 69
Hometown: Grande Prairie
Influential because: She gets things done

Helen Rice was on this list back in 2009, when she was a city councillor in Grande Prairie and had been instrumental bringing the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards to the city, in conjunction with the week-long Iskoteo Arts Festival.

Well, Rice still serves as a councillor in Grande Prairie and she’s still heavily involved in the local arts scene. But she has taken on an additional role now, and a major one at that – chair of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. The role comes at an important time in the history of Alberta’s cities, as they face the rewriting of the Municipal Government Act and press for a big city charter.

In response to her 2009 award, Rice told Grande Prairie’s Daily Herald Tribune that she didn’t see herself as influential. “I just do what needs to be done,” she said. “I’m effective, is how I look at it.” Indeed.