Veteran publicity and marketing executive Susan Smythe-Bishop has joined Toronto-based Maple Pictures as vice-president, publicity and promotions. She will share the title alongside current vice-president Angie Burns.

Widely-respected for her publicity acumen, Smythe-Bishop is returning from a self-imposed sabbatical after nearly 16 years at Alliance in its various guises and administrations. She departed the company last year. Her appointment is a reflection of Maple's expanding distribution ambitions following the October announcement of its Canadian output deal with Miramax Films.

'We are thrilled with the addition of Susan to our team,' said Maple co-president Jim Sherry in a statement. Sherry himself officially joined the company while he was cementing the Miramax deal, following a year-long consulting relationship. Indeed, Sherry was Smythe-Bishop's boss during his tenure as managing director following the fracas between senior executives of Alliance Atlantis Communications, now Alliance Films. It is an open secret that Smythe-Bishop's departure from the company was a reflection of her disenchantment with instability within the executive suite.

'I feel honoured and extremely fortunate to be joining the exceptional team at Maple Pictures,' she said in a statement. 'With highly-respected management, solid studio partnerships, an impressive release slate and substantial plans for growth, Maple is a company that I am excited to grow with!'