Born in London, Ontario in 1930. Attended the University of Western Ontario (1951-54) while studying privately with Gordon Delamont. Further studies in composition with John Weinzweig and John Beckwith at the University of Toronto (1954-56) and with Arthur Berger, Harold Shapero and Irving Fine at Brandeis University (1956-63). While at Brandeis he founded the Electronic Music Studio in 1961.

He joined the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, in 1963 and became Director of its Electronic Music Studio in 1965. During his tenure at the U of T he chaired the Theory and Composition Department and also served as Dean from 1977-84. In 1994 he retired as Professor Emeritus.

Ciamaga is a member of the Canadian League of Composers and honorary founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community.