Canuck distrib Maple Pictures has inked an exclusive, multi-platform output deal with Miramax Films. The deal, announced Monday, is effective immediately and covers all of Canada, including Quebec.

“This important venture reflects our commitment to a portfolio approach for continued expansion,” said Maple co-president Laurie May in a statement. “This deal continues to increase Maple’s overall value through the strength of our slate of product and the exclusive long term rights to these titles for multi-platform distribution.”

Miramax’s long-term output deal with Alliance Films was not renewed when it expired at the end of 2007, although it continued this year on a title by title basis. (Alliance still has an output deal with the Weinstein Co.)

Founded in 2005, Maple distributes Lionsgate titles and inked a long-term deal with Gold Circle Films in 2007. The company is now poised to go head to head with main rivals Alliance and Entertainment One, the latter in major expansion mode lately.

But Maple’s appointment of former Alliance exec Jim Sherry as co-president last month showed Maple’s determination to becoming the pre-eminent Canadian distributor of Canuck films; the Miramax deal adds a familiar brand to the company’s growing slate.

“We have been deeply impressed with Maple’s skill in handling films in Canada,” said Miramax president Daniel Battsek.”We are proud to partner with one of the fastest-growing, most diversified and savviest distributors in Canada to maximize our own growth.”