Book details

Publication date: December 2010
Features: 20 B&W photographs, map, notes, selected bibliography
Keywords: Alberta;History;Cultural Studies
Subject(s): HISTORY / Canada / General, History, History / Alberta History, Area Studies, Area Studies / Canadian Studies, Area Studies, Area Studies / Alberta, Alberta / History / Cultural Studies, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural & Social, Social & cultural anthropology, Alberta;History;Cultural Studies, Canadian History, Political Science
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Geo Takach. Geo Takach is a writer, speaker, instructor, filmmaker, and scholar. He recently joined the faculty of Royal Roads University.

"Geo has written an extraordinary masterpiece where the words literally leap off of the pages, giving you a 360° perspective and more of Alberta!" -Lori-Ann Muenzer, Olympic cycling gold medalist, speaker and author

"Geo Takach, as crafty a wordsmith as you're likely to find, has a droll sense of humour married to a sharp-eyed ability to assemble anecdotes from all over creation to make a point. The point he makes in his meticulously researched Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? is that we are a fascinating people with more secrets and subtext than even those of us who live here might imagine. In assembling this irreverent, quasi-academic tome, Takach seems to have talked to everybody and read everything. The result is an almost mesmerizing exposition of Canada's most misunderstood province. And a good read to boot." -Fil Fraser, cultural Renaissance man

"It hits the nail on the head about what people think Alberta is, and hits you on the head with what the Real Alberta is. It's funny, but it makes you think." -Bronco Buddy (Bud Edgar), Canada's first non-rodeo cowboy clown

"While Takach certainly fills his books with enough statistics and interviews with politicians, artists and pundits, Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? is not purely a scholarly tome. There's a refreshing playfulness to it..." Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald, January 12, 2011 [Full article at]

"The Quebec born author, who moved to Alberta as a teen, has long been fascinated with the mythologies unique to Wild Rose Country. In a quest both serious and silly, with Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? he makes observations, mines documents, and interviews both public figures (Preston Manning, Martha Kostuch) and private folk of all persuasions. The author makes no pretense to scholarly methodology and defies genres in presenting his findings to readers. But don't be fooled by the occasional interview with a dead princess or dinosaur-the book is well-researched and often thoughtful.... To appreciate this book, you need only an interest in the province-and a taste for bad puns." Fabiola Carletti, This Magazine, January-February 2011 [Full review at]

"If nothing else, Alberta is a province mired in contradiction. Some would argue that the province is filled with conservative rednecks, yet there is political tradition steeped in liberal ideology. Citizens champion an individualistic frontier spirit, but strong and fruitful community bonds thrive.... Now is the time for some honest reflection on the paradox that is Wild Rose Country, argues Takach, to root out self-perceptions born of stereotypes and get to the heart of the real Alberta experience. It seems that, for all of the attention Alberta has been getting of late, we may be the least understood province..." Geoff McMaster, Folio, January 14, 2011

"Takach displays Bob Edward's caustic wit, self-confident take-no-prisoners tone, and does not abide fools gladly.... [He] envisions himself in mock epic and anti-heroic terms.... [N]ow it is your turn to enjoy, and sto be entertained, instructed, and enthralled by him." Anne Burke, Prairie Journal, January 2011

"A poignant, timely and hilarious examination of a complex subject, Takach manages to dissect our assumptions about Alberta with the erudite skill of a scholar, the engaging voice of a raconteur, and the punny aliteration of a poet. A must read for everyone from the PhD in Canadian History to any curious visitor." Yvonne (

"After five years of exhaustive research, author and filmmaker Geo Takach has completed one of his most daunting projects to date: defining what the true character of Alberta really is. The Grant MacEwan University professional writing instructor launched his book Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? on Jan. 11 in hopes of dispelling some of the stereotypes that pin down Albertans as right-wing, reactionary and oil-thirsty people.. [Takach] interviewed a number of musicians, politicians, scientists, poets, writers and average citizens in order to properly depict the people who dwell in the province.. Takach said interviewing people like Grant MacEwan, along with Corb Lund, Ralph Klein, Preston Manning and many others made the [book] a worthwhile venture. He said he wrote the book so readers could embrace Alberta's true character while also evaluating what changes Albertans can make for their province." Jesse Snyder, Intercamp, January 20, 2011 [Full article at]

"Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? is a serious exploration wrapped in a humorist's essay. You can judge the book by its cover if you want but there's a lot more going on inside.... Tomfoolery aside, there's a lot of grade-A meat for discussion, not the least of which is the dichotomy of how we are perceived and who we actually are. It should make its way into social studies classrooms for some healthy debate around a broad base of topics." St. Albert Gazette, January 8, 2011 (

"In a new book entitled Will the Real Alberta Please Stand up?, Edmonton writer and filmmaker Geo Takach tries to sort out the many paradoxes of the place and get down to the truth. With humour and lots of jibes about his home province, Takach targets several myths about Alberta and Albertans that he says are perpetuated by the media and which many Albertans feel they must live up to.... While there's usually some truth to stereotypes, writes Takach, these myths have become like a movie set which frames the view of people both inside and outside the province. And while the myths may be compelling, they don't reveal the real story.... Alberta seems ready to tackle her sagging stereotypes, writes Takach, and create a more authentic and up-to-date version of herself." Gillian Steward, Toronto Star, February 15, 2011

"[Alberta is] a big province, burdened with as many stereotypes as Texas, to which it is often compared. The stereotypes of Alberta are not exactly flattering. We're rednecks, arch-conservatives, a cultural backwater, rapists of the earth.... 'Alberta is full of tensions and contradictions. I think you'll find the very best and the very worst of humanity in Alberta. It's a province of hopeless hyperbole and excesses.'... Although the book is frequently light in tone, Takach says he had a serious intent.... 'I believe Alberta is at a critical crossroads now - socially, culturally, politically and environmentally. It's in a state of flux, and discussion about who we are and where we want to go with the enormous (oil) bonanza - and the enormous responsibility that goes with it - is crucial. We should have this discussion now, because the impact of the decisions our leaders make today will spill well beyond our borders and well beyond the present generation.'" Maurice Tougas, SEE Magazine, March 10, 2011 [Full article at:]

"Takach is an amusing and inventive writer, and his passionate engagement with all things Albertan blows like a welcome chinook over the dull and uninviting terrain too often encountered in such texts. At the same time, there's no dearth of solid research and fascinating information in these pages.... But it is neither the form nor the ideas that make this book so refreshing; it is the tone. While Takach openly admits his mission is to attack the various stereotypes perpetrated about Alberta, his writing never veers far from its sunny, lighthearted quality - a quality that gains much from the abundance of personal interviews woven into the text.... As an entertaining antidote to the stereotyping of our province, Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? succeeds so admirably that its author should not only stand up himself but he should also take a modest, un-Albertan (or is that Albertan?) bow." Tim Bowling, New Trail, Spring 2011 [Full article at px]

Will the Real Alberta... "Energetic, eclectic, funny and unusually well researched." Exporting Alberta Award Jury, 2011

"In a relaxed easy style of writing, the author takes us through the history of the rovince, reveals its maverick roots, and wonders what has happend to us in recent years. When asking popel to five a simple word describing Alberta today, the range was impressive. There were the usual choices of beautiful, resilient, optimistic, and lucky. But we also are indefinable." Alberta History, Spring 2011

"Geo Takach discusses the existence of the Canadian redneck, who has much more in common with their American cousins than what many people think of when they think of an Albertan.... Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? is an intriguing breakdown of culture wars in Canada." Library Bookwatch, June 2011

Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Canada has rednecks. "Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?" discusses the clash of culture that resides in the Canadian province of Alberta. Geo Takach discusses the existence of the Canadian redneck, who have much more in common with their American cousins than what many people think of when they think of an Albertan. Analyzing these individuals and their place in Albertan society, their stance in politics, and the constant clash with those around them, "Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?" is an intriguing break down of culture wars in Canada. The Midwest Book Review

"...we are also indebted to Geo Takach's book, Will The Real Alberta Please Stand Up? What we have been striving to do here is exactly what Mr. Takach has already done." The Groove Collective, "Apocalypse Prairie: The Book of Daniel," Azimuth Theatre, May 2012 [from the acknowledgements section of the theatre program]

"Takach counters the monolithic view of Alberta's history and people as 'oil-baron bible cowboys,' by weaving a narrative more diverse than the geographical topography of Alberta.... Takach's text asserts that, until now, the treatment of Alberta identity has not been as thorough as it could be, and investigating a topic through questions rather than statements reveals the unstable, dynamic nature of identity. The questions raised in Takach's book will certainly spark dialogue and discussion.... Seasoned with wit, and peppered with good humour, Takach's book Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? offers alternatives to the out moded frontier mythology that hinders both the nation and the province itself from viewing Alberta as a thriving contemporary landscape capable of accomplishing even greater things." Carolyn Krahn, The Goose, Winter 2012

"In addition to six thoughtful chapters, the book contains extensive supplementary material, including handsome illustrations, a thorough bibliography, and an index. Displaying detailed knowledge of both the good and the bad of Alberta and a critical eye on its image in the world today, Takach leaves little room for criticism.... This book has much to offer cultural geographers in terms of research approach and presentation. It is an exceptional synthesis of an array of facts, concepts, questions, and interviews, critically analyzed and drawn into a provocative overarching framework. Demonstrating the value of an informative and entertaining narrative, the author cleverly weaves humor throughout the text captions and descriptions, rendering explanations memorable.... Cultural geographers may find value in Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? as a text in applied research methods, as essential reading for studies in Canada, and as an example of high-caliber research." Sarah Wandersee, Journal of Cultural Geography 29.1 (2012). [Full review at]

Independent Publisher Book Awards - Canada West, Best Regional Non-Fiction (Gold)

ForeWord Book of the Year Award - Finalist

CAA Export Alberta Award - Runner Up

ISBNs: 9780888645432 978-0-88864-543-2 Title: will the real alberta please stand up